After last April Public Health England announced that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, the UK fully endorsed electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation and Stop Smoking Services even started giving out the devices as part of their smoking cessation programs. These events have resulted in the UK reporting the lowest number of smokers ever recorded, and in terms of expenditure it means that the NHS has been saved over £96 billion.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has been expected to suggest an increment in tobacco excise, but vaping and public health entities urged him to ignore pleas from the EU to tax vaping products in the same way as their combustible counterparts. The vaping advocates pointed out that it would be nonsensical on the Chancellor’s part to ignore the the obvious benefits derived from the electronic devices, to follow the flawed perspectives that some EU countries have adopted.
E-cigs have saved the NHS billions of pounds
The UKVIA who aims to support all components of the vaping industry and is comprised of 13 founding members, amongst which 4 big tobacco companies is not to be mixed up with the IBVTA (Independent British Vape Trade Association), which is composed of five independent professionals in the vaping sector.
Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on e-cigarettes, Mark Pawsey, added that their party has gathered evidence from many members of the public health and research community, and also from the vaping industry and its consumers, saying, “What is clear is that the key driver in the popularity of e-cigarettes is the desire from smokers to switch to a much less harmful alternative. The UK is a leader in harm-reduction policy, and it is important that we continue to be. I am sure the Chancellor will be led by the evidence, and the evidence suggests that punitive taxation on vaping products discourages their uptake. Given the cost savings they potentially represent to the health service; punitive measures would surely be a backward step.”
No tax increase on vaping products
After much anticipation, Chancellor Hammond announced that a minimum price of £8.82 a pack of 20 will be introduced on cigarettes hence duty on tobacco products will increase by two per cent above inflation, and the price of a 30g pack of rolling tobacco will increase by 44p. No mention of vaping products.