The Folly of the ‘Build Back Better’ Plan’s Nicotine Tax

(Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)
Taxing regular cigarettes and reduced-risk products such as e-cigarettes at the same rate serves neither public health nor the government’s bottom line.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I n a move expected to generate an estimated $96 billion in funding for the president’s Build Back Better Act (BBB) agenda, lawmakers are considering a tax on nicotine that would increase the cost of reduced-risk tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and vaping liquids. This is not a particularly novel idea, and it is also not a particularly good one.

The primary goals of taxing nicotine products are to generate large amounts of revenue and reduce nicotine consumption. But pursuing these two objectives simultaneously puts them inherently at odds with each other. Consumers must purchase nicotine products to generate the desired tax

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