The province of British Columbia set a 13% vape tax, which went into effect on January 1st, increasing the tax from 7 to 20%. The tax increase is applicable to all vaping products and electronic cigarettes, as well as their refills, whether they contain nicotine or cannabis products. The Ministry of Finance had highlighted that BC was also the first Canadian province to introduce such a tax.
Subsequently effective July 1st, the province has added a tax on other products, including cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco. After the tax, a $15.99 cigarette pack will cost an additional 7% or $1.12 extra a pack. “We are moving in line with other provinces to make sure we collect PST on tobacco products,” said Selina Robinson, B.C.’s finance minister.
Meanwhile, a nationwide excise tax is going into effect soon and tobacco control experts are highlighting that this could be a massive public health blunder. In this episode of RegWatch tobacco control researchers Dr. Kenneth Warner and Cliff Douglas discuss the available data on vape taxes and why Canada’s imminent tax could be a public health disaster.
Vape taxes lead to increased smoking rates
Meanwhile in line with predictions by multiple public health and smoking cessation experts, a study by Yale Professor Abigail Friedman and Georgia State University Professor Michael Pesko, has confirmed that vape taxes have serious unintended consequences by leading to increased smoking rates.
Titled, “Young adult responses to taxes on cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery systems,” the study looked into the impact that vape tax increases had on vaping and smoking behaviours among young consumers aged between 18 and 25. In line with arguments and predictions by experts in the field, the researchers found that while higher vape tax rates lead to decreased e-cig use, they also lead to an increase in smoking.
“A one dollar increase in [vaping] taxes yielded significant reductions in young adults’ daily vaping alongside increases in recent smoking,” reported the authors. “The researchers ultimately conclude that “higher taxes on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are associated with decreased ENDS use but increased cigarette smoking among 18-25 year-olds.”