Kenya was the first country to eliminate the sales taxes on menstrual products in 2004, followed by the United Kingdom in 2015. India, Colombia, South Africa and Australia abolished the tax in 2018.

In the United States, there's no federal sales tax on menstrual products, however many states charge sales tax on period items. This sales tax is often referred to as the tampon tax, which isn't an accurate term, as sales tax is applied to all menstrual products, including but not limited to tampons.

Items deemed essential are exempt from sales tax. These products include groceries, such as flour, water, milk and eggs, dietary supplements regulated by the FDA, and certain print newspapers. These items differ by state. Products not deemed essential are taxable, and many people take issue with the categorization of menstrual products as nonessential.

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