BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A number of city leaders are proposing a 30% tax on electronic smoking devices sold in Baltimore.

The legislation, introduced at Monday’s city council meeting, would see distributors who sell electronic smoking devices to dealers in Baltimore pay a tax of 30% of the devices’ wholesale values.

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Those who don’t comply could face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to a year behind bars.

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The bill is being sponsored by council president and Democratic mayoral nominee Brandon Scott as well as council members Mary Pat Clarke, Sharon Green Middleton, John T. Bullock, Ed Reisinger, Ryan Dorsey, Zeke Cohen, Leon Pinkett III and Kristerfer Burnett. It has since been referred to the city’s Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee.

During Monday’s council meeting, Scott said the bill is about “looking out for the public health of the community.” It would also bring in more revenue to the city’s coffers as it struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic, he added.

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A public hearing is set for 10 a.m. on November 12.

CBS Baltimore Staff