• April 18, 2024

U.K. Poised to Announce Vaping Levy

 U.K. Poised to Announce Vaping Levy
Photo: spectrumblue

U.K. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce a “vaping products levy” during the presentation of the government budget on March 6, reports The Guardian.

The tax would be similar to 15 schemes in European countries, including Germany, where a €1.60 ($1.73) tax is charged on every 10 mL of vape liquid, and Italy where the rate is €1.30. The EU is also planning a vaping levy across the 27-nation bloc.

The U.K. tax would charge higher rates for products with more nicotine. There would also be a one-off increase in tobacco duty to ensure that vaping remains a cheaper alternative, with the two measures expected to raise more than £500 million ($633.73 million) a year by 2028–2029, according to The Times.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans to ban smoking for the next generation by steadily increasing the legal smoking age in England so that tobacco would end up never being sold to anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 2009.

Vaping industry representatives described the tax plan as an attack on people trying to quit smoking.

“Vaping is proven to be the most effective way for smokers to quit and in doing so helps drastically reduce the cost of care the NHS [National Health Service] provides to smokers,” said John Dunne, director general of the U.K. Vaping Industry Association, in a statement.

“It makes absolutely no sense to make it more difficult for adults to stop smoking by penalizing those who choose a safer and healthier option in vaping. Smoking kills 250 people every day in the U.K. and according to Action on Smoking and Health costs the U.K. £17 billion a year,” Dunne added.

“A Centre for Economics and Business Research report in 2022 found that smokers switching to vaping saved the NHS £322 million, a figure that was estimated to more than double if 50 percent of U.K. smokers made the switch to vapes.

“Surely, we should be doing everything we can to help smokers escape a habit that kills so many. Increasing taxes on vaping will make vapes less accessible for the most disadvantaged in society who have the highest smoking rates and are most in need of an effective tool to quit.

“The government continue to hide their heads in the sand while taking actions that will fuel a black market which is already in danger of being out of control. Restricting access to vapes will not only mean more smokers; it will also mean more illegal and unregulated vapes. We need the government to license vape retailers and properly enforce the law against youth access before it is too late.”

It makes absolutely no sense to make it more difficult for adults to stop smoking by penalizing those who choose a safer and healthier option in vaping.

John Dunne, director general, UKVIA

“A Centre for Economics and Business Research report in 2022 found that smokers switching to vaping saved the NHS £322 million, a figure that was estimated to more than double if 50 percent of U.K. smokers made the switch to vapes.”

“Surely, we should be doing everything we can to help smokers escape a habit that kills so many. Increasing taxes on vaping will make vapes less accessible for the most disadvantaged in society who have the highest smoking rates and are most in need of an effective tool to quit.

“The government continue to hide their heads in the sand, while taking actions that will fuel a black market which is already in danger of being out of control. Restricting access to vapes will not only mean more smokers; it will also mean more illegal and unregulated vapes. We need the government to license vape retailers and properly enforce the law against youth access before it is too late.”