Tobacco industry: Tax smokeless products based on weight

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The tobacco industry is calling on Ohio lawmakers to change how the state taxes moist smokeless tobacco products.

Monte Williams, representing several industry stakeholders, testified on Wednesday before the Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission, which is tasked with developing long-term state tax changes.

Williams says more discount brands enter the market, costing the state money. He says moist smokeless tobacco should be taxed based on weight instead of price.

But Micah Berman, an assistant public health and law professor at Ohio State University, says the tax doesn’t keep pace with inflation.

Berman says the tax would hinder efforts to reduce tobacco usage and cost the state money over the long-run.

The Blade newspaper in Toledo says most non-cigarette tobacco products are taxed at 17 percent of their wholesale price.

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