China Trade: How New Trump Tariffs Spell Disaster for Vaping


by Jeffrey Buckley

Updated: August 7, 2020

vaping devices and china tariffs list

Vapers are the latest victims of the escalating China Trade War. On Wednesday, August 1st President Trump ordered new tariffs on Chinese goods doubled from 10% to 25%. This increase affects $16 billion worth of Chinese imports, which include vaping products.

The First Round of Products Hits With 25% Tariffs

Vaping devices were not included in the first round of products hit with 25% tariffs on July 6th. When Trump announced those duties, China hit back. The administration then proposed a new 10% hike on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Last Wednesday that figure rose to 25%. The new duties are set to take effect in one month.

Higher-tariffs on Chinese-made vaping units means higher prices for American consumers and businesses. 91% of e-cigs imported into the United States come from China.

Yes, it will hurt consumers, yes, it will hurt the industry

– said Tony Abboud, President of the Vapor Technology Association

These new import duties are the latest threat to the growth of the e-cig market. Last April, the FDA came down hard on vape retailers caught selling to minors. One bright spot has been that the FDA has pushed back the deadline for regulating e-cigarettes to 2022. E-cigarettes have made significant gains in the last two years. Sales have gone up from 32 in 2017, to 68% from June of last year. If the proposal goes through, vapers will start to see higher prices at their local vape shops.

What Is the Essence of This Tariff?

It is targeted at helping the American industry according to President Trump. There are huge impacts in trade wars and rarely do we have winners. Instead, the results may end up being more tragic and painful.

The vaping industry has plans to oppose the new tariffs. Vaping advocacy groups plan to lobby the Office of the US Trade Representative. They want to show how the new tariffs will not punish China, only American e-cig users, and retailers.


Published: August 3, 2018Updated: August 7, 2020

Jeffrey Buckley

I was a smoker for over 25 years. In this time I also earned my medical degree with a specialization in addiction treatment and counseling. That period has led me to vaping, my interest started around 2011. I’m fighting the tide of hysteria and dis-information around vaping that emanates from various fronts legislative, cultural and scientific. Having scientific councils support, I’m happy to contribute my thoughts, articles, and expertise.


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0 comments on “China Trade: How New Trump Tariffs Spell Disaster for Vaping

  • Albert S. Bessinger

    September 30, 2018 at 6:02 am

    I don’t mind paying more to buy quality, American made vape mods. As an added bonus, it will help create more jobs here in the states. Worth it!

  • Tony Glock

    August 28, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Well I just purchased a mod from SXK in china and they emailed me asking me what value and what product I wanted it to say was on the package for customs…I told them to put a $20 value and put down that it is any product besides anything that has the Tariffs on it!….lol. Trump can kiss my ass!

  • Louis Robbins

    August 19, 2018 at 12:48 am

    As a business owner it’s true the majority of devices are Chinese however, no decent vape store sells Chinese made E-juice so roughly 60% of store sales will not be affected. Maybe this will force the Chinese to make a more reliable device as quality is abysmal compared to US and Euro makers.