E-Cigarettes and the Future
Everyone knows the health risks associated with smoking and the increased risk of getting cancer. Smokers of cigarettes have a far greater likelihood of dying from cancer at a younger age than non-smokers. The worlds tobacco giants carry significant political influence.
Electronic Cigarette Smoking and Taxation
It is ironic that the same government that tells us to stop smoking, raises over £12 billion annually in taxes on cigarettes. Alcohol is harmful for its users and also raises billions annually in tax duty. The safety of electronic cigarettes has been questioned recently in several news stories.
It makes you wonder if the government have got their priorities right when they introduce health and safety legislation to reduce the 200 annual fatalities that happen annually in the workplace, while at the same time raising over £12 billion from the 100,000 annual tobacco related deaths.
If everyone stopped smoking, the government would have to raise £12.1 billion from other taxes to balance its books. Is it right that the government will only protect people if it is financially prudent to do so?
E-Cigarettes and Possible Regulation
In order to protect it’s tax revenues, it will be necessary to regulate and tax e-liquid at some point in time. Regulation will lead to price rises as the large conglomerates dominate the industry. Will this be in the public interest, and for the protection of smokers? The only reason for the regulation of e-cigarettes will be to enable tax to be levied on e-liquid.
Opponents to Electronic Cigarettes
The smoking cessation and the tobacco industries are both going to be affected financially by the continual increase in e-cigarette usage. Even though nicotine gum and patches deliver nicotine, many smokers prefer the satisfying nicotine hit that they receive from inhaling an electronic cigarette or vaporizer.
The tobacco industry can’t really argue against e-cigarettes on health grounds because their product is proven to kill people. It is suspected that some tobacco companies are quietly supporting the anti e-cigarette stance being taken by the smoking cessation industry.
Potential Regulation of E-Cigarettes
The introduction of tax on e-cigarettes and e-liquid will offset some of the duty lost by smokers making the switch, but it is unlikely that e-liquid would be taxed to the same onerous levels as tobacco. If duty is applied to e-liquid then people may well decide to save money by making their own, which is quite easy to do.
The government needs to keep any duty on e-liquid to a minimum otherwise users will start to make their own instead. For many smokers, trying a cheaper cigarette is perfectly acceptable, irrespective of where it comes from. The more popular e-cigarettes become, the soon they will face regulation. If politicians can tax e-liquid then e-cigarettes are here to stay. Otherwise the government will be more likely to ban the devices.
If e-cigarettes can’t be effectively taxed and regulated then it is more likely that they will be banned regardless of them being a safer alternative to tobacco. It seems unlikely that e-cigarettes and vaporizers will escape regulation. The success of the e-cigarette is the very thing that will force the government to introduce regulation and tax on e-liquid.
It seems certain that in due course electronic smoking devices will be so popular that the government will feel obliged to regulate them and then tax their use.