This morning, the Tholos Foundation sent a letter to key members of Colombia’s Senate and House of Representatives regarding a proposal to implement an e-cigarette tax and increase the current tax rate on tobacco products.
“E-cigarette taxes are a proven way to increase smoking rates, thereby increasing smoking-related disease and death,” said Karl Abramson, Tholos’ Consumer Issues Fellow. “E-cigarettes are undoubtedly safer than smoking and are proven to be a critical resource for people trying to quit their deadly smoking habit.
“These taxes don’t just hurt those who smoke, though. They impact every single person in places where they are implemented. By increasing demand for illicit market goods, e-cigarette and tobacco tax hikes threaten national security and make countries more dangerous.
“Our letter draws upon real-world examples, particularly emphasizing the importance of a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research that found 32,000 cigarette smokers in Minnesota were prevented from quitting smoking with vaping due to an e-cigarette tax hike.
“Despite smoking rates consistently declining in Colombia, over 17,000 Colombians still die each year from tobacco. Lawmakers cannot risk imposing policies that will backtrack on the progress that is being made.”
The full letter can be read here.