Proposal would raise taxes on tobacco products and funnel money into pension system

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — A state representative has an idea to help the pension situation and help kids at the same time.

The representative's proposal would raise taxes on E-cigarettes and all tobacco products and then funnel that money into the state's pension system.

State leaders, health officials and students talked on Tuesday about the need to curb vaping among teens. They said that this bill would help with that, while also raising money for the state.

State Representative Jerry Miller has been behind the effort, which has support from other lawmakers, the public health commissioner and other health advocates.

Details were announced at a news conference on Tuesday in Frankfort. The bill would increase taxes on vape products, to match the taxes on other tobacco products.

This legislation then goes a step further and raises the rate from 15 percent to 27.5 percent.

Miller said he is hoping this money would help the state's pension funding, although he said they removed wording specifying the money could only be used for that.

Health leaders are hoping this would deter young people from vaping and students said it would work.

"We don't have 50 dollars in our pockets to get new pods or juice for our vapes, so I think if we increase taxes they'll be like, 'Now what do we do,'" said Yulie Spade, a recent high school graduate.