JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Local vape stores in Jonesboro are not excited about a bill proposed in the Arkansas Legislature that would implement a tax on all liquids used for e-cigarettes that contain nicotine.
The tax would be seven and a half cents per milliliter.
Jonathan Ross, manager of Razor Vapes, said this would be about $1.15 per 15 milliliter bottle of e-juice.
The one thing Ross said he didn't understand was why the tax was proposed in the first place.
"There's no reason why we should be taxed on this because it is not a tobacco product," Ross said. "That's what they are setting it as, as a tobacco product. We are not a tobacco product, we are a nicotine product but not a tobacco product. So we get into the simple fact of being taxed for something they don't know about and I don't understand why."
Some liquid used in e-cigarettes do contain nicotine, but there are some that are 0% nicotine. The bill does not say anything about these liquids.
Ross said it doesn't make sense that e-juice should be taxed when there are other products out there that contain nicotine.
"We have nicotine just like your patches, your gums, your lozenges," Ross said. "They are a nicotine products but they are not getting taxed in this bill. We are."
Ross smoked for 20 years before he switched to vaping in order to spend more time with his kids.
This is one of the reasons he is in the business.
He said this business is about providing people a healthier alternative to smoking.
If the bill passes, he said the customers won't be able to afford vaping products and could potentially switch back to smoking.
"We're not in it to make the money, we are in it to get people a safer alternative to cigarettes to keep them around a couple more extra years you know, to play with their families," Ross said. "It's a good business but it's a business to help people and they are pricing us out of being able to help people."