FRESNO, Calif. - On the eve of Prop 56 going into effect, smokers will pay two bucks more per pack of cigarettes. But the tobacco tax is also impacting the vapor industry.
For the first time in California, the e-cigarette market will be taxed starting April 1. How does it affect vaping consumers?
Ryan Ah Tye says he and his wife used to spend 300 bucks a month on cigarettes but he says vaping helped him quit smoking. And since 2013 Ah Tye has owned Fresno City Vapor, a shop those looking for an alternative to smoking.
"At least 90-95 percent of our customers come in here because they're looking for an alternative to smoking," said Ah Tye.
"For me I just feel more comfortable with vaping," said one customer.
But with Prop 56 activated on Saturday, the tobacco tax also impacts nicotine products like the e-juice used for vaping.
"As of tomorrow, wholesalers will be passing on that 27.3 tax," said Ah Tye.
Unlike the extra two bucks cigarette smokers will pay for every pack, those who vape will only be impacted if retailers hike up their prices. Instead vape juice distributors pay the tax and retailers like Ah Tye say there's enough supply in California to find the best deal for his shop.
"Juice manufacturers and distributors and wholesalers that are willing to work with us. Most of my prices are not going to really go up. It's not a tax that I have to pass on the retail side to customers," said Ah Tye.
He says he's already met new customers who don't want to pay more for cigarettes.
Ah Tye says he knows of some Fresno vapor shops planning to raise prices. And there are owners who loaded up on merchandise before Prop 56 takes effect Saturday.