BEHIND BIG TOBACCO’S LAST-MINUTE ATTEMPT TO CREATE OK TAX LOOPHOLE
In the final days of session, a Big Tobacco request bill was rushed through the legislative process. The measure changed the definition of some tobacco products and exempted new and emerging products from tobacco taxes.
The bill narrowly redefined “smokeless tobacco” to only include products with leaf tobacco like snuff or chew. That definition leaves out new and emerging tobacco products like nicotine pouches, nicotine toothpicks, dissolvables and others. That means those newer products will not be subject to tobacco taxes. They’ll be cheaper and more affordable for teens, not to mention that the state will lose out on some revenue that currently goes to cancer research, mental health and other health programs.
Big Tobacco is innovating and developing new products to hook replacement users as traditional tobacco users die off. These new products will become a bigger share of the market, and tobacco companies want them exempted from tobacco taxes. This isn’t FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy like patches or nicotine gum. These are products designed to create and sustain an addiction to nicotine.
Help educate parents, teachers and community leaders about these products that threaten our kids with a lifetime of addiction.