Home Community The Mayor’s Lies Surrounding 2nd Sin Tax on Vape Products in Chicago

The Mayor’s Lies Surrounding 2nd Sin Tax on Vape Products in Chicago


When reflecting on the time spent by Rahm Emanuel as Mayor of “The Windy City,” many Chicagoans, local city researchers and even political analysts outside city limits would all likely admit how Mr. Emanuel has outstayed his welcome in the Chicago Mayor’s Office.

In fact, at the start of this month, Rahm Emanuel has officially announced this would be his last term. Apparently, many constituents around Chicago were surprised when Rahm Emanuel declared how he will not run for a third term in February.

The Editor of In These Times Magazine, Miles Kampf-Lassin has written about Mayor Emanuel’s job performance. Kampf-Lassin sums it up by sharing, “From the start of his tenure, Emanuel has assailed public education in the city through an agenda aimed at breaking the power of the teachers’ union and shutting down schools in poor communities of color.” -Miles Kampf-Lassi

At the same time, countless Chicagoans are overwhelmed with joy and relief. Karen Lewis, the former President of the Chicago Teachers Union was quoted when explaining Mayor Emanuel’s time in office. Lewis was famously quoted as saying, “Look at the murder rate in this city. He’s murdering schools. He’s murdering jobs. He’s murdering housing. I don’t know what else to call him. He’s the murder mayor.”

Local Chicago Newspaper Report

The Chicago Sun Times featured a story, reporting how we should “watch for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to wield his tax axe against Big Tobacco this week.”

Wield an axe? In what ways? The Sun-Times states, “Emanuel plans to introduce a City Council ordinance imposing a mandate that all e-cigarettes and vaping products be located behind the counter at retail stores.”

Didn’t they say this was “Against Big Tobacco?”

Only asking because any product at a vapor shop is already behind the counter, at least I’ve never been inside a vapor shop where this hasn’t been the case. Not to mention, vape shops are not at all extensions of the big tobacco industry. They are a separate, independent sector run by working class small business owners.

Why is there this constant need to equate the consumer-led, independent vapor industry with the much larger, corporate Big Tobacco cigarette makers? Are we that simple-minded and dull that we can’t tell the difference?

This narrative that vapor products are part of some big tobacco plot to lure youth back into nicotine addiction, is quite frankly, absurd.

On top of this, even in many convenient stores, these vaping products are, in the majority of cases, already behind the counter as well. So, that doesn’t seem like the Mayor will be “wielding an axe?”

In the relatively left-leaning, Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, they report how ”Mayor Emanuel’s new proposal would further increase taxes on liquid nicotine found in vaporizer and e-cigarette products, and extend the tax to e-cigarette devices.”

Thus, the true threatening attack is introduced. However, this seems to be another, likely attempt to make-up for missing funds from the budget — the old trusty disappearing-money-routine will be aided by taxing items packaged as liquid nicotine products, serving as the second consecutive attempt targeting the vape industry with an unnecessary tax burden.

Many months ago, it was reported by sources in the Chicago Media that the first vape tax proposal, which was indeed passed in Chicago, was to make up for missing budgetary figures from the city workers pension fund. These reports are likely to be factual given the continuous mismanagement of city affairs by the Mayor’s Office.

Chicago is a magnificent metropolis, yet the city did not pick-up the nickname of “The Windy City” because of the actual wind. It was initially labeled as “windy” due to the blatant political corruption.

The Second Chicago Vape Tax Details

Supposedly, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is hoping to curb youth smoking and vaping, so he wants to increase the tax to $1.50 per container of liquid nicotine and $1.20 per milliliter. At present, the tax is already charged at $0.80 per container of eLiquid and $0.55 per ml.

It is absolutely necessary to mention how this first vape tax was responsible for raising $772,000 in revenue last year. This is becoming out-of-control. It seems as if the legislators are basically taking advantage of small-business based vape shops and independent vape product manufacturers — viewing the young vape industry as a piggy bank, which was launched by a consumer-led initiative and made-up primarily of working-class Americans.

The products that are being described by the Mayor’s Office as what will be taxed are items that typically are found only in vapor shops, used for the open-system vaping style.

These open-systems are rarely ever found in convenience stores. So, there is a vast difference. The vapor-based products found in convenience stores are typically close-system, manufactured by the, more wealthy and corporate big tobacco industry.

The Tax has Already Been Approved

Unfortunately, it has been reported that the mayor’s proposal to drastically impose a sin tax on vapor products passed in the city council with a vote of 40 to 2. Of course, the mayor’s office wasted no time in continuing to boast and brag, spinning the actuality of the situation — a complete disregard for expressing any form of respect for the truth.

In the press release, all that was acknowledged was just how much their alternative narrative was indeed so full of misinformation that the victory they technically achieved was a complete manipulation of important public health information which could have been truthfully communicated.

The pressrelease from the Mayor’s Office contains information that seemed far more interested in sharing a fairytale narrative about Rahm Emanuel’s emmaculate record of taking on big tobacco and how his vision allowed the city of Chicago to fight back against the shameful marketing tactics of the deadly big tobacco industry.

As we have learned, this unnecessary, punitive and borderline criminal taxation plan was designed to target vapor products that are found primarily in vapor shops.  These products and shops are part of an independent vapor industry consisting of small businesses owned by the working class  with no connection to the big tobacco industry.

It seems the mayor is only trying to restore the extremely damaged portions of his political record with being complacent in nearly every other  Area that requires working to make sure it is a priority to focus on caring for Chicago’s youth.

There will be a follow up on this particular topic which will highlight even more of the obvious deception and unfortunate failures that Chicago’s Mayor has been responsible for during his quest to destroy a technological innovative public health intervention.


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