but hopefully this is not the end. Right now New York is facing a full on salvo of anti-vaping legislation and it's not looking so good for that portion of the vape world right now. If you live in New York it's a real good time to get a hold of your representatives and tell them exactly how backward their attempt at legislating is.
There's four killer bills in the running right now so let's do a quick run down on them starting with S428 - All Flavors banned except Tobacco and Menthol. This bill is essentially targeting vape shops and manufacturers directly as flavored vape products of all kinds have already been removed from gas stations and bodega type establishments. Vape specific shops are the only ones carrying these flavored eLiquids currently, and you better believe that age checking and verification is much much more stringent in those stores than any gas station ever would be.
Moving on to S468 which proposes a brutal 95% wholesale tax on liquid and hardware has already been referred to finance committee. We are not unfamiliar with this level of taxation on a retail and wholesale level ourselves here at Northland, considering we have two retail establishments in the state of Minnesota which has a similar tax. The biggest shocker here is the addition of hardware to the bill. Could you imagine buying a computer or cellphone and essentially paying double the price because the state demands a cut on the account that one time someone spilled a drink on an electronic device?
In a weird preemptive move that makes me wonder if there's something more sinister going on or if New York is so corrupted they are used to people and companies coming up with clever legal work arounds, bill S1148 removes coupons and discounts from being allowed, and has already moved to the Senate floor. I'd hope out of my optimistic naivete that nothing more sinister is going on, but if you're already proposing to basically enact prohibition on a product, why would you also prevent coupons or discounts on those already banned products? Something is rotten in the state of New York.
Last but not least is S2833, which seems to be a trendy bill around the nation these days that increases the age for tobacco from 18 to 21, and has already been referred to the finance committee. This bill seems the most innocuous, and there is plenty of room to debate about the age limits off all kinds of product acquirement and consumption, but I'm assuming if everything else gets shot down this one will easily come to pass. The sad fact is that vapers are a minority and the anti-vape hysteria hype is so strong right now that with a simple majority of opinion this issue seems to get green lit everywhere.
Being a no-coast elitist I don't have much respect for the anti-business mentality of the coastal and densely populated areas, so I feel for New Yorkians who are just trying to get off smokes and are now facing the tyranny of the backward acting state. Yet I have to say the solution is a difficult in execution but simple in suggestion for you folks; Move. There's plenty of room in the middle of this country that welcomes vapers and eLiquid companies alike, and we'll give you a warm welcome.
Today 3-1-19 at 7 Broadcast Plaza, Buffalo NY 14202 (Channel 7 News building) there will be a planned protest from 1pm-5ish. Spread the word if you're in the area!