OLYMPIA -- Washington could levy a 75 percent tax on e-cigarettes under a proposal narrowly approved this morning by the House Finance Committee.
On a 7-6 vote, the committee approved a plan to tax the mixture of nicotine, flavoring and water vapor despite objections from some that the product offers a safer alternative to cigarettes and helps some people stop smoking. Supporters said the industry is targeting young people with an addictive product, and the liquid would still be cheaper than a comparable amount of cigarettes.
Under an amendment, the liquid nicotine solutions would be tax free if they were part of a tobacco cessation therapy prescribed by a doctor. The same amendment lowered the tax rate from 95 percent in the original bill.