Tax on vaping could lead to unintended consequence - report
Vape Business Ireland (VBI) has warned that increasing the cost of vaping through an excise tax will prevent current smokers from making the switch to a less harmful alternative and could push ex-smokers back to smoking.
In its Pre-Budget 2022 Submission to Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, VBI claimed that such a move would be contrary to the Government’s overall objective of achieving a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025.
Commenting, VBI national spokesperson Eoin O’Boyle said: “We are aware of the Government’s intention to bring in a targeted taxation regime to specifically discourage vaping and e-cigarettes. However, it is our belief that placing an excise tax on vaping products is the wrong approach for Government to take and we are keen to stress to Minister Donohoe how this will hold up achieving the ambitious target of five per cent smoking prevalence by 2025.
“On a daily basis, our members are seeing first-hand the seismic and positive impact vaping continues to have on the lives of those who made the switch from smoking and their families and friends. What we are seeing on the ground is supported by Irish based research which continues to demonstrate how vaping products are a successful less harmful alternative to smoking. An example of such findings includes the latest Irish National Drug and Alcohol Survey which revealed that 95.5% of vapers are ex or current smokers.
“Furthermore, we know from Healthy Ireland research that 41% of people who successfully quit smoking did so using vaping products, making vaping the most successful tool for quit attempts after willpower alone. Therefore, vaping must be embraced and encouraged, and not taxed, by Government if we are anyway serious about pushing smoking rates in downward direction again.”
The European Commission is currently completing a review of the EU Tobacco Excise Directive aimed at ensuring the proper functioning of the internal European market and a harmonised approach, indicating that this is likely to deal with the taxation of vapour products on an EU-wide basis.
Mr O’Boyle added: “Vaping products are not the same as smoking and should be considered as an entirely separate category to smoked tobacco products, especially when it comes to taxation. For over 240,000 Irish people vaping has played a pivotal and successful role in their quit journey.”
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