Ecig taxation could be tip of the iceberg

Posted 9th March 2015 by Dave Cross
Italy introduced a punitive 80.5% tax on ecigs in January; while vapers may be concerned about similar action in the UK the current discussions taking place in the Danish parliament highlight how taxation is just the tip of the iceberg.

As reported on the POTV news section, taxation in Italy has prompted almost two thirds of vapers to give up and (the bulk) return to the cheaper option of smoking. Hundreds of vaping stores have closed, people have had their livelihoods removed and the war against a safer alternative to smoking looks set for a bleak outcome.

News from Denmark adds to current fears. Despite a promise by Linda McAvan MEP that the TPD would not be tantamount to a ban, the likely Danish implantation looks to be as close to one as it is possible to get.

The proposition to banning under-18s sales is a reasonable proposition that would meet with the full support of vapers. But, the reasonable measures end here as they also plan to move to treat the act of vaping like smoking. Vapers will be banned from almost all indoor places except their own homes. Given that research is in place supporting the notion that there’s no danger posed to bystanders, such a widespread ban lacks any sense of logic.

Businesses will have to formulate written policies regarding their stance on the use of electronic cigarettes in the workplace. Currently, most public agency employees are banned from smoking during work hours on or near the place of work and the implication being that vapers will be banned too.

Advertising in all forms is to be banned everywhere except inside vape stores. Combined with a likely drop in the number of vape stores means that current smokers will find accessing information more difficult and make them less likely to quit. YouTube channels, forums and websites will either have to find alternative methods of funding or face closure – unless they relocate their servers to non-EU countries.

Equipment: a 2ml maximum capacity on tanks isn’t necessarily the end of the world, dinky attys like the Spheroid give great flavour so a smaller version would be perfectly vapeable. The demands that it can be refilled without drips or leaks on the other hand place almost impossible expectations on manufacturers.

Such action will do nothing but encourage a booming grey market of illegal imports from China and other non-EU regions for those aware of the 2nd and 3rd generation options – while at the same time limiting the ability for smokers to quit.

Liquids will face further controls too: a limit to 10ml bottles is going to increase the volume of plastic waste created, time spent filling bottles and require larger storage areas, in conjunction with the demands that producers produce toxicology reports, will increase cost to users.

Stores are going to have to pay registration fees for each type of item or variation of juice. An initial fee of around £3000 will then be followed with annual £1000 payments will be beyond the reach of almost all our known brands and vendors. This crippling crypto-tax holds no health justification and amounts to nothing more than a smash and grab on a perceived rich market. It will drive out our small operators and play into the hands of tobacco and pharmaceutical companies.

Totally Wicked are involved in a legal challenge on Article 20 of the TPD, you can find out more from their website. Also, you can use Clive Bates’ briefing document as a resource and contact your MP/MEP.


 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker