Ky Poll Finds Support for Taxing, Regulating E-cigs

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THE COURIER JOURNAL | DARLA CARTER | JANUARY 20, 2015

Most Kentuckians would favor an excise tax on electronic cigarettes and think the products should be federally regulated, according to a poll recently released by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Fifty-three percent of respondents in the Kentucky Health Issues Poll said they think the state should place an excise tax on e-cigarettes so that the products are taxed at a similar rate to regular cigarettes.

And more than 6 in 10 respondents said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should regulate the sale and marketing of the products.

Electronic cigarettes are battery operated devices that typically are used to turn nicotine, other chemicals and flavoring into an aerosol inhaled by users, according to the FDA.

Supporters have championed the trendy devices as a safer option than traditional cigarettes and as a tool for quitting smoking.

But some health advocates have expressed concern about them for their attractiveness to youths, their nicotine content and their potential to serve as a gateway to traditional smoking. Other concerns have included lax regulation, limited information about the risks of electronic cigarettes and their vapor, and tots getting into the liquid nicotine.

“People are concerned for a variety of reasons about the growing use of e-cigarettes,” said Susan Zepeda, president and chief executive officer of the foundation. “We’re trying to lift up the voices of Kentucky citizens to their own legislative representatives and other policy makers so that they have a voice in important policy conversations.”

The poll, released earlier this month, included nearly 1,600 adults from throughout Kentucky.

About 1 in 4 adults said they’d used e-cigarettes. They were most popular with adults ages 18 to 29.

Read the article online.