The act of smoking an electronic cigarette is called "vapear"
People who smoke electronic cigarettes are called "vapers"
But the Oregon Department of Taxation still does not have enough information on the devices that run on batteries to advise To the Legislative Assembly on whether vaping should be named as tobacco consumption and, therefore, to give it a tax equal to other tobacco products.
Deanna Mack, the agency's policy and legislative head of state revenue department, told interim members at a joint meeting of the Tax Commission that Oregon statutes are clear. A product must have some form of tobacco in it to be taxed, and electronic cigarettes do not have tobacco in specific form. But they contain nicotine, Mack said. And nicotine is a chemical that contains nitrogen, an alkaloid, which is made from tobacco plants.
To complicate matters the devices also come in a variety of levels of nicotine, and some completely free of nicotine, others only release flavored vapors. Some of the devices are disposable, but some are rechargeable, so assessing how much nicotine can be heavy and difficult at this point, he said.
Mack recommends that lawmakers work with other states like Minnesota to get information about how the tax is working. She also said that the state should keep an eye on the next federal court ruling for the devices, as it could help Oregon with tobacco definitions.