About

Together We Can Make Change

About Own It Voice It

For adults who choose to use tobacco or vapor products and retailers whose businesses depend on their sale, this website is where you can voice concerns to legislators who make decisions impacting you.

 

We are here to help you be heard. Together we can make a difference. Now is the time to send a message and let lawmakers know you’re against unfair legislation and regulations – before it’s too late, before it becomes a law.

 

Own It Voice It will never ask for money and will not sell your information. Own It Voice It exists solely to help adult tobacco consumers, vapers and retailers have a voice in the legislative and regulatory process.

71%

71% of Congressional offices said social media comments from constituents would have “some” or “a lot” of influence on an undecided lawmaker

Congressional Management Foundation, 2015

KEY ISSUES

In an ideal world this website wouldn’t exist and consumers could freely exercise their right to choose. Sadly, that’s not the case. Here we join together to speak out and protect your rights. These are the issues we’re tracking right now:

Taxes

Tobacco products are some of the most highly regulated and taxed products in the United States. Though excise taxes on cigarettes are already high, states and localities often look to these products as a vehicle to generate additional revenue, usually to fund a program unrelated to tobacco issues. Since only tobacco consumers pay, elected officials believe they can increase taxes and revenue without large public backlash.

Cigarettes: Taxed by the pack, cigarettes are the highest taxed tobacco products and the highest taxed products in the nation. Yet legislators view increasing taxes on adult smokers as an easy way to exponentially increase government revenue.

Moist Snuff: Moist snuff tobacco products are taxed either by weight/unit or by a percent of the price. Legislators increase taxes on these products to increase revenue on the backs of a very small percent of their constituents.

Vapor: Vapor products, or e-cigarettes, are relatively new and gaining popularity. A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that these products may be less harmful than cigarettes. Yet legislators want to treat them the same as cigarettes and tax them either as a percent of the price or by milliliter of liquid – making adult smokers less likely to switch.

Flavor Bans

Since 2009, it’s been illegal for cigarettes to have characterizing flavors other than menthol. Some states and localities have attempted to take flavor bans a step further by banning some or all flavors in all tobacco products including menthol cigarettes, moist snuff tobacco and vapor products. This hurts adult consumer choice while increasing the likelihood that these products will be sold illegally to avoid the ban in states or localities that enact them. History has shown that prohibition does not work.

Permits

Many states require a permit or license to sell tobacco products. Some states and localities want to put restrictions on how many stores can have permits or where stores with permits can be located. This hurts retail business owners and adult tobacco consumers alike. It is unfair public policy that allows government to choose winners and losers.