IL Lawmakers Take Up E-Cigarette Flavor Ban Monday

By Benjamin Cox on October 27, 2019 at 9:30am

Illinois lawmakers will look into banning flavored vape products on Monday during the General Assembly’s veto session. House Bill 3883 would ban close to 90% of all vaping products found in shops and convenience stores attached to e-cigarettes and tobacco vaporizers. The original bill excluded menthol flavored products, but an amendment to the bill now includes it.

The Illinois Association of Convenience Stores claims that flavored tobacco cigarette products, including menthol, make up 38 percent of all sales. Last fiscal year, the tobacco tax on cigarettes brought in $739 million. By rough estimates, menthol and other flavored products brought in about $282.5 million. Other tobacco product revenues totaled $36.7 million last year. Industry insiders say 79 percent of those products are flavored for a total of $28.9 million. Vaping brought in $13 million last year in the state. 82 percent of that is supposedly flavored, so that’s $10.7 million for a grand total of about $322 million. Other opponents to the bill said it would create a black market that would further exacerbate the vape related illnesses that have been caused by black market pods and products. They also say it will drive people back to cigarettes or drive them across state lines to purchase them.

About $160 million a year is expected from new taxes on cigarettes and e-cigarettes to fund the state’s vertical infrastructure program. Using the same formula from above, that works out to about $65 million in revenue from favored products.