MAINE

 

TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION 101: MAINE

January 13, 2020

Key Points: 

  • Maine’s vaping industry provided more than $51 million in economic activity in 2018 while generating 313 direct vaping-related jobs. Sales of disposables and prefilled cartridges in Maine exceeded $4.2 million in 2016.

  • As of December 31, 2019, MCDCP has reported nine cases of vaping-related lung illness, with most patients reporting having vaped THC, but no specific details. MCDCP earns a C for its reporting on vaping-related lung illnesses.

  • In 2019, only 28.7 percent of Maine high school students reported using vapor products on at least one day in the previous 30 days, a decrease from 34.8 percent in 2017. More data is needed.   

  • Only 1 percent of FDA retail compliance checks in Maine resulted in sales of e-cigarettes to minors from January 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.

  • Maine spends very little on tobacco prevention. In 2019, Maine dedicated only $4.8 million on tobacco control, or 2 percent of what the state received in tobacco settlement payments and taxes.

MAINE’S PROPOSED CIGARETTE AND VAPE TAXES WOULD HURT THE POOR, THREATEN HARM REDUCTION

April 23, 2019
  • Legislative Document 1028 aims to increase the state’s cigarette tax from “$2.00 to $3.50 per pack of 20 cigarettes.”

    • It would also increase the tax on other tobacco products to 81 percent “of the wholesale sales price.”

    • It would also include e-cigarettes in the state’s definition of “Other Tobacco Products.”

  • Existing research shows cigarette taxes disproportionately impact lower-income persons. For example, a Cato Journal article notes that from 2010 to 2011, “smokers earning less than $30,000 per year spent 14.2 percent of their household income on cigarettes, compared to 4.3 percent for smokers earning between $30,000 and $59,999 and 2 percent for smokers earning more than $60,000.”

  • Neighboring New Hampshire taxes cigarettes at $1.78 per pack, significantly less than Maine’s proposed tax. If Maine lawmakers do raise the state’s cigarette taxes, increasingly more Mainers will likely travel across the border to New Hampshire to buy their tobacco products.

  • Taxing electronic cigarettes and vaping devices would be a disservice to public health. Of the 10 million adult vapers in the United States, an estimated three million have used e-cigarettes to quit smoking.

  • A recent study found e-cigarettes to be “twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy in helping smokers quit.”

  • Maine dedicates little revenue in helping smokers quit.

    • In 2018, Maine earned an estimated $196.8 million in tobacco settlement payments and taxes, yet only spent $5.3 million, or 2.7 percent, on prevention and cessation efforts.

    • For fiscal year 2019, Maine dedicated even less to tobacco prevention: $4.8 million of $188.5 million, or 2.6 percent.

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©2020 by Tobacco Harm Reduction 101.