Latvia will increase excise taxes on e-liquids by an average of 21 percent annually until 2026. The excise tax rates on heated-tobacco products and combustible cigarettes are set to increase by 5 percent and 5.6 percent every year, respectively.
Meanwhile, the tax on other “tobacco substitute” products, including nicotine pouches, will rise by 10 percent.
Tobacco harm reduction advocates warned that the measure would negatively impact Latvia’s efforts to curb smoking by making safer alternatives less attractive.
“Increasing the taxation of safer nicotine products will discourage smokers from switching and push users back to smoking,” said Alberto Gomez Hernandez, community manager of the World Vapers’ Alliance, in a statement.
“The international evidence has shown that increasing taxation of e-cigarettes and e-liquids has always led to an increase in smoking, particularly among young adults and low-income groups.
“Latvia should follow the steps of countries that are successfully reducing smoking rates by encouraging smokers to switch, such as the United Kingdom and Sweden, instead of making it more costly for them.”