Germany’s planned e-cigarette tax is a health policy disaster that will destroy jobs and boost black market sales without generating significant additional revenues, according to the country’s e-cigarette trade association VdeH.
Under the plans, e-liquids will attract a tax of €4 per 10 mL bottle from July 1, 2022. On Jan. 1, 2024, the tax will increase to €8 plus VAT, i.e., €9.52 per 10 mL bottle. Based on an average sales price of about €5 per bottle, this amounts to a tripling of the retail price, says VdeH.
On April 21, the VdeH plans to protest the plans by projecting statements from scientists and consumers supporting its position on a 20 x 35 meter “hydro shield” at the Reichstag waterfront in Berlin.
“The planned excessive taxation means that the 95 percent less harmful e-cigarette will soon be more expensive than conventional cigarettes,” says Michal Dobrajc, managing chairman of the VdeH, in a press note. “With 11 million smokers still in Germany, the e-cigarette is the greatest health policy opportunity we have—we must use it. The planned tax would have exactly the opposite effect.”
The tax plans, which fail to consider the expected market slump of 50 percent when calculating tax revenue, would take the level of vapor product taxation in Germany to five times the EU average, according to the VdeH.
The law would not only shift consumption back to more harmful tobacco cigarettes but also sacrifice the entire industry to the black market, the trade group cautions.