New Mexico considers new tax on e-cigarettes

By Morgan Lee, Associated Press | Posted - Jan. 13, 2016 at 1:51 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers will consider implementing a new tax on e-cigarettes, and increasing the current levies on conventional cigarettes and chewing tobacco under proposed legislation unveiled Wednesday.

Several states are examining new tax structures to account for the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and other alternative tobacco products. Electronic cigarettes use a small battery and a tobacco-based nicotine liquid to produce a mist or vapor with no tar.

The proposal from Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, would impose a 66 percent tax on nicotine e-cigarettes at the initial point of sale. Taxes on conventional cigarettes would increase by $1 to $2.66 per pack, and taxes on other tobacco products would rise from 25 percent to 66 percent.

Under New Mexico's current tobacco tax, the state expects to collect $82 million this fiscal year.

Morales estimated that the tax increase would provide an additional $33 million annually. The extra money would be funneled to early childhood education programs at the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.

Other states including North Carolina and Minnesota already tax e-cigarettes.

New Mexico's proposed legislation is endorsed by the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association and other public health groups.

Opponents of taxes on e-cigarettes sometimes characterize the nicotine delivery devices as a potential tool to help people quit smoking.

The bill unveiled Wednesday does not tax smoking cessation devices recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, such as nicotine lozenges, gum and skin patches.

New Mexico legislators will convene Tuesday for a 30-day session.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Morgan Lee

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast