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Is a Vape Tax on the Way?

Wed 18 Jul 2018

There are two guaranteed things in life, death and taxes.

As was discussed in some of my earlier articles, it was almost an inevitability that vaping would become a source of taxation. The increasing levels of smoking cessation and the correlating drop off of tax revenue as a result has created a hole in the State’s income. With the political necessity to reduce the deficit, a new stealth tax on vaping is tempting for politicians.

The proposed tax, EU wide, would not just apply to juices, but all vaping paraphernalia.

It is worth noting that despite Britain leaving the EU (should that actually happen), the likelihood is that any tax introduced would be long before Britain leaves, and subsequently it is unlikely that such a tax would not be abolished.

It is already hugely unfair that vape juices falls under largely the same legislation as tobacco products. There is an argument that it should do in some regards when it comes to age restrictions for example, but there is a greater argument that e-liquid is a health product and should be tax exempt in its entirety.

There is an opportunity to add your voice to the debate. Visit https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/Tobacco_evaluation_2018

This is a far more elaborate way of having your say than the signed petitions the UK Government offers. Whether the results will be taken into account is anyone’s guess, but it is worth a shot.

The evidence suggests that many, many lives have been saved by vaping. The evidence suggests that very few people start vaping leading on to smoking. The evidence suggests that there are few to no side effects from vaping. The evidence suggests that those who vape have more spare cash than those who smoke, which would be spent elsewhere, and taxed. The evidence suggests that less house fires occur thanks to vaping.

On that basis, why, other than as a source of revenue, the hell would this even be considered?

Presently in the UK, a packet of 20 cigarettes is taxed at £4.15, plus 16.5% of the retail price, plus 20% VAT. Therefore, if a packet of cigarettes that cost £10.00 would generate £7.80 in tax. Imagine if vaping suddenly cost 78% more. One of the biggest drivers to encourage people to make the switch is the cost benefit. It is after all purported to be one of the major reasons or excuses the Government has to tax cigarettes at such a rate.

On that basis, wouldn’t it be an idea to not just give our opinion to the EU on their proposed EU wide tax, but also to apply pressure to our Government to object to it, and with an impending Brexit to not write into British law any directive that were to come from the EU should one be made?
We need to watch this one like a hawk, before long we will know which way the wind is blowing and see what matters most, saving lives or additional revenue. Unfortunately, I feel I know the answer.


Written by Alex Blatherwick - ELFC Content Creator

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