The U.K. Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) is calling on the U.K. government to treat vapor products as nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) when calculating value-added tax (VAT).
The call comes amid reports that the Chancellor of the Exchequer considering reducing the VAT rates to stimulate the economy in the wake of the coronavirus.
In a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the UKVIA urges the government to consider a level playing field for NRT and vapor products to help adult smokers who would otherwise not quit smoking switch to vaping.
The letter points to the recent Public Health England report that found that when vapor products were used to quit, either alone or with licensed medication, success rates were comparable to, or higher than, when using NRTs alone.
John Dunne, director at UKVIA, said the vapor sector has been a major retail success story this century and is playing a major role in getting smokers to quit, thereby helping cut the annual cost of healthcare associated with smoking.
“Yet according to research nearly one in 10 smokers do not switch to e-cigarettes because they considered them to cost too much,” he said. “Ensuring that the price of vaping products remains much lower than cigarettes is vitally important in continuing to encourage the some 7 million smokers in the U.K., who otherwise do not quit, to make the switch.”