In his budget for 2020-2021 Governor Newsom announced one of the most expensive taxes that could impact the use of vapes. New taxes are expected to start on January 1, 2020, and cost 5 cents per milligram of nicotine present in the product. To calculate milligrams of nicotine contained in a bottle, multiply the nicotine strength on the label and the dimensions of the bottle.

To illustrate how costly California’s tax could be, let’s look at the cost of a sample against two states that are anti-vape: New York and Ohio. New York taxes vape products at 20 percent. Ohio tax vape products are priced at a rate of 10 cents per milliliter.

Wow. With Newsom’s tax reforms, the tax for 30ml of nicotine in a 50mg salt will cost more than other mods. While a tax on nicotine may help smokers reduce their consumption of nicotine over time, a tax at this price will likely discourage all vaping and even smokers who already smoke. At present, the most expensive aspect of changing to vaping is the purchase of the right setup. Due to California’s new tax laws, the most costly component is figuring out which juice is best for you.

The necessity to keep pods or coils, the more difficult learning curve associated with vaping, and the possibility of a massive cost increase could deter smokers from attempting vaping. But, removing vaping completely is the policy of the administration instead of making money off vaping. In the budget are the following statements:

“Revenues from the new tax are anticipated to be $32 million by 2020-21. They will be deposited into a special fund. It will be used to fund administration …”

“In addition to the tax, the Administration will support a statewide ban of all flavored nicotine products as of January 1, 2021.”

If it does, Newsom is planning to get $32 million from taxing vapes that are not flavored.


In the most risky way, this can turn vaping into a pricey item that could be appealing to black markets, particularly in California, where the illegal market is already a powerful rival to another industry that is already taxed.

Although it is legal to use cannabis, everything that is cannabis-related is highly taxed and expensive. In the end, the black market for cannabis continues to thrive despite legalization and the concern over illegal THC cartridges. If nicotine becomes too costly for people who smoke, nicotine could become an additional drug that increases in popularity in the market for black medicines.

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