E-cigarette tax bill comes down to the wire

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Lawmakers in the Vermont House are looking at raising taxes on electronic cigarettes to raise money for downtown tax credits and down payment assistance for first-time home buyers.

The House Ways and Means Committee is considering adding e-cigarettes to a class of "other tobacco products" that are taxed at 92-percent. The committee is looking to raise more than $300,000.

Lobbyist Andrew McLean, who represents Reynolds American, says e-cigarettes shouldn't be taxed at the same rate because some people use them to quit smoking. "There's been a change of opinions, or actually, a fairly significant change of opinions, relative to e-cigarettes lately. The American Cancer Society significantly changed it's opinion," he said.

But Rep. George Till, D-Jericho, is a doctor and says E-cigs are not approved smoking cessation devices. "The producers of these have had the opportunity to register with the FDA as smoking cessation devices and not one has attempted to do that," he said.

The committee must complete its work by the end of Friday to meet a legislative deadline.