Push In NJ To Tax Electronic Cigarettes Not Met With Open Arms

By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – As New Jersey legislators wrestle with Governor Chris Christie’s proposed budget, there’s a good deal of attention centered on a plan to tax electronic cigarettes in the same fashion as other tobacco products. But the idea is getting a less than enthusiastic reception in the state legislature.

The proposal would be projected to add $35-million to the state’s bottom line.

Anti-smoking advocates, skeptical of manufacturer claim that e-smokes are safer, believe the higher price per pack could also cut down on consumption.

Gloucester County Assemblyman John Burzichelli says on the revenue side of the debate, “that number has been challenged. One other state had tried it and found the revenues diminished significantly.”

He’d like to see more study on the health question.

The budget has little wiggle room, as Burzichelli sees it, but that $35-million will have to come from somewhere, since it seems the e-cigarette tax plan is going nowhere fast — at least for now.

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