Umberto Roccatti, president of the National Association of Electronic Smoke Manufacturers (ANAFE) in Italy and vice president of the Independent European Vape Alliance (IEVA), is biking 700 km to protest a planned vapor tax hike in Italy.
Italian vapor taxes are set to increase from Jan. 1, 2022. “The gradual increase, every year for three years, of the taxation on electronic cigarettes is pure absurdity that risks bringing to its knees a sector already severely affected by the pandemic and which today counts about 45,000 employees,” said Rocatti in a statement.
The new tax regime, he added, will not only cripple a supply chain comprising small and medium enterprises but also encourage black market sales. According to Rocatti, the tax hikes would make some vapor products more expensive than some cigarette brands, encouraging vapers to return to smoking.
Rocatti’s “Ride4Vape” left Bolzano Sept. 20 and will pass through Abano Terme, Santarcangelo di Romagna and Sangemini before finishing in Rome. Along the way, Roccatti will explain on Facebook the disastrous effects of the fiscal policy call on lawmakers to reverse their plan.
“What the whole sector hopes for is a revision of the current tax burden—which turns out to be particularly excessive,” says Roccatti. “Moreover, it should be noted that the revenue—referred to the first months when the tax came into force before it was suspended by the new government—was not what was expected but quite the opposite, thus confirming the fact that raising taxes, especially in the midst of a pandemic, does not contribute positively to state revenues. We therefore ask for stability and fiscal balance on a sector which already underwent four tax increases in the last six years.”