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HB 1873: Concerning the taxation of vapor products as tobacco products

HB 1873 intends to tax vapor products, such as electronic cigarettes, electronic devices, and vape pens pursuant to RCW chapter 82.26.

The legislature finds that these vapor products are in fact “tobacco products,” and that manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers have not been paying the tax levied on tobacco products. Therefore, recognition of the application of this tax will resolve claims of non-payment of tobacco product taxes, decrease youth access, and provide funding for nicotine and other drug use prevention.

Also amends RCW 70.345.090 to include subsection (8), which specifies the tax imposed on sales of vaporized tobacco products.

Furthermore, a new section is added to RCW 82.26 which creates the Essential Public Health Services Account in the state treasury, in which 75% of the money collected from the tax must be deposited. The money must be used for:

  • funding foundational health services;
  • funding tobacco, vapor product, nicotine control and prevention;
  • at least 10% of the funds must be used to support increased access and training of public health professionals; and
  • funding enforcement by the state liquor & cannabis board to prevent sales of vapor products to minors.

Also amends RCW 82.26.010 to include subsection (21)(b)-(c), such that “tobacco products,” includes vapor products.


Updated on 4.12.19:

1st substitute:

  • Established the vapor products tax in a new chapter of the RCW, rather than tax them as an Other Tobacco Product.
  • The taxation rate is 60 percent instead of 95 percent.
  • Provisions related to taxation of preexisting inventories, bundled transactions, tribal compacting, and enforcement and record keeping are added in the substitute.
  • Distributions from the Account are modified.