URGENT!! 95% Tax on E-Cigarettes
Last year, the State of Washington wisely banned sales of “vapor products” to minors.  This year, groups opposing e-cigarettes have pushed for legislation to redefine e-cigarettes as a “tobacco product” and a “tobacco substitute.”
Senate Bill 6569 was introduced on February 19, 2014 and has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.   The matter could be considered as early as next week. If passed, Senate Bill 6569 will:
  • Eliminate the definition of e-cigarettes as vapor products and instead define them as a “tobacco product” and a “tobacco substitute.”
  • Subject e-cigarettes to an unconscionable 95% tax.

Remember, you can register to receive free CASAA e-mail alerts regarding this and other legislation in Washington and across the United States. We will alert you when there are other opportunities to voice your concerns to the members of the Washington State Legislature.

Please call or write the members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee below and tell them:
1. Explain that you are a you are a Washington resident, and you would like them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 6569 because it would impose a 95% tax on the sale of electronic cigarette devices and liquids.  (If you are responding to this Call to Action and are not a state resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel to Washington on vacation or have friends/family in the area.)
2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or another smoke-free product has changed your life.
3.  Explain that:
  • While high cigarette taxes are justified by many as necessary to cover governmental healthcare expenditures caused by smoking and encourage smokers to quit smoking, trying to impose similar levels of tax on reduced risk products like e-cigarettes is unwarranted and would actually work against public health.
    • E-cigarettes are estimated to pose approximately 1% of the risk of that from smoking.  Given the low risks of e-cigarettes, imposing ANY additional tax (let alone a punitive tax of 95%) on e-cigarettes is completely unjustified and abusive.
    • The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Murray Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the 2009 FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in e-cigarette vapor.
  • Supporters of this legislation claim that punitive taxes should be imposed on all tobacco products for public health reasons.  However, the truth is that there is absolutely no public health benefit to excessively taxing products that pose an estimated 1% of the risk of that of smoking.  In fact, imposing high taxes on low-risk products will work against the interests of public health by discouraging smokers from using a far, far safer alternative to smoking.
  • Imposing such taxes on e-cigarettes could have devastating effects on Washington small businesses. Moreover, many Washington consumers will avoid the tax by buying online, and the costs to the Washington government to collect taxes from these citizens could outweigh the revenue the tax will bring the State.
  • Many smokers who switch to less hazardous e-cigarettes instead of continuing to smoke do so because e-cigarettes are less expensive than cigarettes.  Increasing the cost of e-cigarettes with punitive taxes would discourage many smokers from switching to e-cigarettes.  It could also encourage some e-cigarette consumers to go back to cigarette smoking.
4.  Direct them to the website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information. Comma delimited e-mail list (incomplete — see webform links):,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Senator Andy Hill, Chair (R) 45th District
(360) 786-7672
Senator Michael Baumgartner, Vice Chair (R) 6th District
(360) 786-7610, (509) 329-3740
Senator Jim Honeyford, (R) 15th District
(360) 786-7684, Fax: (360) 786-1999
Senator James Hargrove, (D) 24th District
(360) 786-7646, (360) 457-2520, (360) 533-9477, Fax: (360) 786-1323
Senator Karen Keiser, (D) 33rd District
(360) 786-7664, Fax: (360) 786-7450
Senator Kevin Ranker, (D) 40th District
(360) 786-7678, (360) 899-5638, Fax: 360-899-5641
Senator Barbara Bailey, (R)  10th District
(360) 786-7618
Senator Randi Becker, (R) 2nd District
(360) 786-7602
Senator Andy Billig, (D) 3rd District
(360) 786-7604, (509) 209-2427
Senator John Braun, (R)  20th District
(360) 786-7638
Senator Steve Conway, (D)  29th District
(360) 786-7656
Senator Bruce Dammeier, (R)  25th District
(360) 786-7648, (253) 840-4523
Senator Karen Fraser, (D) 22nd District
(360) 786-7642, Fax: (360) 786-1999
Senator David Frockt, (D) 46th District
(360) 786-7690, (206) 729-3225 Fax: (360) 786-1446
Senator Bob Hasegawa, (D) 11th District
(360) 786-7616, 206-587-5554
Senator Brian Hatfield, (D) 19th District
(360) 786-7636
Senator Mike Hewitt, (R) 16th District
(360) 786-7630, (509) 545-2014
Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, (D) 36th Legislative District
(360) 786-7670, (206) 281-6854, Fax: (360) 786-1999, (206) 216-3182
Senator Mike Padden, (R) 4th District
(360) 786-7606, (509) 921-2460
Senator Linda Evans Parlette, (R) 12th District
(360) 786-7622, (509) 663-9702, Fax: (360) 786-1266, Fax: (509) 663-9703
Senator Ann Rivers, (R) 18th District
(360) 786-7634
Senator Mark Schoesler, Republican Leader, (R) 9th District
(360) 786-7620, Fax: (360) 786-1999
Senator Rodney Tom, (D) 48th District
(360) 786-7694