Massachusetts lawmakers crack down on black market in e-cigarettes

An Illegal Tobacco Task Force had investigated how smokers of the flavoring responded to the local flavoring ban and found that the ban led to “an increase in smuggling and black market sales.” Bill H4183 was passed in December 2019 by a vote of 127 to 31 Approved, and imposed a draconian 75% tax on vaping products and a ban on flavoring. The bill also allows authorities to seize vehicles in which untaxed vaping products are found, and police can seize products and “containers” in which they are found, including transport devices, if any illegal and untaxed products are found in the hands of people who do not have a license to sell the products. any vehicle.

Regarding flavored products, licensed “smoking bars” are still allowed in a few countries. However, this is of course harder than it sounds for smokers who use these devices in place of cigarettes in everyday life, such as after meals, while driving to work or while watching a movie at home. It is futile for these people to allow it in smoking bars.

In response to these measures, back in 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Illegal Tobacco Task Force investigated how flavored product smokers were responding to the ban, and unsurprisingly, the task force concluded that the ban resulted in ” Increase in smuggling and black market sales”.

Charles Giblin, a retired special agent in charge of the New Jersey Department of Finance’s Office of Criminal Investigations, has expressed his concern that enforcing the scent ban will only lead to the creation of a significant new black market.

Interstate smuggling on the rise

In fact, Axios recently reported that interstate smuggling is on the rise, with more than 105,000 soda seizures in FY 2021 and 6,406 in FY 2022. State Sen. John Keenan and State Rep. Marjorie Decker, on the other hand, introduced a bill last month that would further increase tax sales.

The Illicit Tobacco Task Force has recommended that more state funding should be used to investigate interstate smuggling and illegal vape and cigarette sales. Its report also recommends giving the ATO’s Criminal Investigations Unit more powers so that anyone caught engaging in any illegal activity could have their license suspended or revoked.

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