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Indiana Senate lowers taxes on some vaping, tobacco products

Lauren Chapman/IPB News
Sen. Tim Lanane said a proposed tax cut on some vaping products will amount to about $1 per two-pack of vape pens.

Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to lower the tax on some tobacco products – notably, certain vape products.

Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) said the measure, SB 382, is the result of behind-the-scenes negotiations to bring "parity" to the vape industry in Indiana. Lawmakers only recently imposed the tobacco tax on e-cigarettes and e-liquids. And how that tax was imposed was unequal, Holdman said, between "open" systems – which can be refilled – and "closed" systems, which can’t.

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But Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) said numerous studies show that a key way to stop people from using tobacco is making the price higher, not lower.

"We already, as a state, have one of the worst health indicators in the nation," Lanane said. "And a lot of that’s because we have a higher rate than most other states in terms of smoking."

Lanane said the tax cut in the bill will amount to about $1 per two-pack of vape pens.

The measure now heads to the House.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.