The British government is considering implementing a tax on vaping products. The collected money will be used to finance the country’s national healthcare system, the NHS. This recent news was reported by The Sun newspaper, however, and should be taken with a grain of salt. Almost immediately, numerous experts expressed their disapproval.
Chris Snowdown from the Institute of Economic Affairs said that this proposed tax plan is equivalent to taxing bicycles to help pay for the healthcare costs of obesity. Dan Marchant, a member of the UKVIA (UK Vaping Industry Association), also highlighted the hypocrisy of taxing e-cigarettes. According to him, it is an abhorrent idea to tax a product that is known to be an effective alternative to tobacco. Currently, vaping devices are not only untaxed, but they are also reimbursed by the NHS.
Dan Marchant also underlined the fact that vaping products have already helped 3 million smoke fewer cigarettes or quit altogether. The NHS has also already seen a direct benefit from vaping, having already saved millions of pounds in healthcare costs. Clearly, taxing electronic cigarettes would be harmful to public health and the country’s national healthcare system.
E-cigarette taxes throughout the globe
In India, the government decided to tax vaping products up to 57% starting July 1, 2018. This new legislation will surely garner large profits for the government, albeit at the expense of the public’s health. Currently, no study exits showing the effect of these new taxes on vaping and smoking habits.
In the European Union, multiple countries have started to tax vaping products. In Italy, a 4-euro surcharge was applied to 10 ml bottles in early 2018. The impact was immediate: almost 6 months later, the country counted 500,000 new smokers. At the same time, the number of e-cigarette users dropped considerably.
Today, the European Commission is carrying out a public survey with the goal of determining whether or not to implement new taxes on vaping products.