Time to end the tampon tax

Maggie Smart, Staff Reporter

In the United States there are many medical products, ranging from Band-Aids to sunscreen that are qualified for tax breaks; however, tampons, which are considered a “luxury item,” are not one of them.

The tax on tampons adds around 50 cents to the price of a box of tampons, making the total usually $7.50. There are currently 12 million female Americans from the ages of 12 to 52 who live below the poverty line and simply cannot afford $8 worth of tampons a month when they have food and shelter expenses that must be prioritized first.

Tampons are one of the most highly requested items at food banks and homeless shelters. California, New York and Illinois have laws that require schools to supply pads and tampons in bathrooms. However, this only provides middle and high school students, who make up 15 percent of women who menstruate, with these basic feminine hygiene products.

Students can help by donating pads and tampons to food drives or women’s shelters. There are numerous local donation services that accept feminine hygiene products that would profoundly help women in need.