With the debates raging around vaping, who else than consumers would be qualified to decide on this issue? In any case, this is the opinion of the European Commission who recently organised a public survey. The question asked concerned taxation of vaping products at the same rate as tobacco products.
The answers were almost unanimous, that is to say 88.9% over 11,410 participants, in their rejection of this measure. Contrary to the anti-vaping crowd, this majority believes that vaping should not be placed in the same category as tobacco. Only heat-not-burn tobacco products remain little known to the general public. 22.1% of surveyed participants believed that the tax rate should be reduced on HNB devices.
While the European Commission estimates the number of surveyed participants of be insufficient to come to a decision, participants thought otherwise. 54.1% consider that a decision can be made based on existing data. This is not the first time a public consultation has been held on the subject. This time the turnout was higher than the campaign run in 2016, which reached the same conclusions.
Soon a clear distinction between tobacco and vaping?
While the idea of raising taxes on vaping products is a popular one in Europe, this decision would also cause a rise in smoking rates. This is the case in Italy, who are now considering reversing the decision on raising taxe faced with this increase in smoking.
While vaping has reduced the number of smokers, giving them an alternative, raising the prices of vaping products tends to have the opposite effect. How would this affect public health, given that vaping is proven to be 95% less harmful to health than cigarettes?
90.9% of survey participants agree that vaping is a healthier alternative. In the same vein, 89.5% consider that e-cigs are a legitimate and effective smoking cessation tool. Distinguishing between taxation on cigarettes and taxation on vaping could help distinguish the two more clearly. We can only hope that the European Commission’s decision, expected for 2019, will help change public opinions on vaping.