The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) urges vapers to “ACT NOW” in order to prevent an EU wide ‘sin tax’ on vaping – which would be added on top of the current VAT charge. Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, this proposed sin tax WILL apply to UK vapers unless you oppose it.
The European Commission is holding a public consultation into the taxation of tobacco and vaping products, ending on 3rd September. The Collective of EU Vaper Associations is issuing an urgent call to action to ask you, the consumer, to respond to the consultation. Vaping has helped more than 7.5 million Europeans stop smoking and a further 9 million to cut down. If vaping is expensive smokers will not switch and vapers will go back to smoking.
The call lays out the implications of not acting. The EU plan consequences:
- Making vaping more expensive which will keep people smoking.
- Taxing vaping and making people think vaping is as harmful as smoking.
- There is no case on principled or practical grounds to apply excise duties to vaping products.
- The value to health and wellbeing associated with switching from smoking to vaping exceeds any benefits arising from revenue collection.
- VAT is the only acceptable form of taxation on vaping products.
- Taxing vaping products ultimately protects smoking
- Vape products are not tobacco products and do not belong in the Tobacco Excise Directive
There are two routes to action. The first is taking part in the consultation exercise. The consultation is here:
Public consultation on excise duties applied to manufactured tobacco and the possible taxation of novel products
The NNA gives advice for completing the consultation questionnaire:
- The questionnaire is available in all the EU languages, select your language at the top right
- Answer using your own words
- If you don't know the answer to something please reply with "I don't know"
- If you choose not to answer the questions on conventional tobacco
products the questionnaire should only take around ten minutes
- At the end there is an option to upload a document – responses carry more weight if they are more personal, so feel free to go into more detail. Tell your story!
The second route is to sign the petition.
The petition has just 22,505 signatures at the time of writing – of which, just 2,000 come from the United Kingdom. With 2.8-million vapers in the UK, it is imperative that more people sign it, it takes no time to do and will add weight to the arguments being put forward in the consultation and by advocates across Europe.
John Summers, NNA Trustee and INNCO board member, had this to say to POTV newsletter subscribers: "The EU has pushed tobacco taxes as being about health. By attempting yet again to leverage a "sin tax" on a far safer alternative they are playing with millions of lives and showing their true colours: Money and Ideology is more important than people."
"Since the implementation of TPD Article 20,” he continued, “this is the second attempt to bring about a tax when, as Professor David Sweanor and others have suggested, there should actually be a negative tax to encourage switching."