State Senator Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, wants to tax vaping products like tobacco merchandise. Missouri’s current tobacco tax is 17 cents per package of 20 – ranking it the lowest in the nation.
Hough is proposing to make it a misdemeanor for anyone who sells vaping products with THC, a chemical in marijuana, or any other controlled substances in them.
The measure follows a nationwide outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses, including some deaths. About 36 cases, including two deaths, have been reported in Missouri.
At a November press conference, Governor Mike Parson said he wants the Legislature to consider potential measures to address vaping. Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams said he hopes all vaping-related options are on the table during the session.
“One of those would be looking specifically looking at Vitamin E, which we now think is the ideological agent. In the meantime, let me make sure I’m very clear on this – we think it is very dangerous to put Vitamin E in vaping products,” says Williams.
Hough’s bill would also ban vaping statewide in public places, public schools, daycares and other designated areas.
Some Missouri cities have already put restrictions on electronic cigarettes.
Hough’s bill is SB 829.
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