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New vaping tax signed into Washington law

A new law in Washington will tax vaping products similar to tobacco products.

Editor’s note: The video above was originally published in April after the Washington Legislature approved a new two-year state budget.

Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill on Tuesday taxing vaping products to help create a new public health account in Washington state.

All vaping products, even those without nicotine, will be taxed under the new law. 

Vaping devices that use what are considered “closed systems,” which are sealed disposable containers, will be taxed 27 cents per milliliter of solution. Open system users will pay 9 cents per milliliter for vaping solution.

The funds raised will be used to pay for cancer research and public health efforts to stopping smoking.

Also see | How the new Washington state budget will affect your taxes

Sage Prengel, assistant manager at Olympia's South Sound Vapor Lounge, said in April that he expects his store to go out of business when the taxes go into effect this fall. He said customers will find the same products elsewhere.

"They're going to see our prices compared to online or going to the reservation. That's what's going to kill the industry," said Prengel.

Inslee recently signed a new law raising the smoking and vaping age in Washington to 21 years old. The measure raises the legal age to purchase tobacco, e-cigarettes, and vape products and penalizes anyone who sells to underage buyers.

A statewide youth survey released in March found that teens report smoking less than half as much as a decade ago. However, teen vaping is at an all-time high. 

Also see | Vape shop sees flaws in bill raising Washington smoking age to 21

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