• May 28, 2024

Ireland Halts Vape Tax

 Ireland Halts Vape Tax
Photo: Orlando Bellini

Ireland’s finance minister, Michael McGrath, postponed a vaping tax over concerns that it would discourage smokers from quitting with e-cigarettes.

Officials from the Department of Finance cited the need to strike a balance between discouraging young people from vaping and supporting existing smokers who switch to e-cigarettes to quit. Health officials recommended e-cigarettes be taxed differently based on their comparative harm versus traditional cigarettes, according to media reports.

McGrath has said a new tax on vapes will be “challenging” to implement. “A domestic tax will require significant IT, administrative, control and compliance costs,” he said.

Tobacco harm reduction activists applauded the decision. “We welcome the decision of the minister of finance and ask the Irish government to keep a tax differential between electronic and traditional cigarettes in the future large enough to incentivize smokers to switch,” said Michael Landl, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, in a statement.

“The risk profile of vaping products is much lower than that of combustion cigarettes, and they should be taxed as such. If the tax had been approved, it would have pushed tens of thousands of vapers back to smoking.”

The government has not specified a new date for the vape tax. Some suspect it may await the updated EU Tobacco Tax Directive, which is expected to include an EU-wide excise tax on vaping products.