IBVTA writes that there’s “reassurance for vape businesses and their customers about vape tax proposal,” and says that “recent media stories reporting that HM Treasury are considering applying a tax on vaping products were concerning to us.”
The organisation speaks of the “apprehension” the stories caused for its members and the “outrage and worry” being caused to the nation’s vapers.
IBVTA claim such stories are “misleading”, because it has the “independence and credibility” to meet with the decision makers directly. Implying that someone from the IBVTA has met with and spoken to Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
IBVTA denounce “the anonymous Whitehall sources cited by The Sun newspaper and others,” but fail to offer up names of their “Department for Health and Social care nor HM Treasury” contacts. We approached IBVTA to disclose the names of their government sources but it declined our request, writing: "Your query would be better pointed to the press offices of the relevant Government departments."
IBVTA call all coverage of the proposed vape tax ‘’a good fake news story’’.
It continues: “The IBVTA are happy to be able to dispel the unease that our members and vapers may have felt while reading these news stories. Thankfully, for now, this is not something the government has plans to introduce, but we will as always continue to fight against any introduction of so called ‘sin taxes’ on products which are helping people to stop smoking.”
Countering that this was “fake news”, UKVIA (the other British trade body) joined forces with The Centre for Policy Studies, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the Adam Smith Institute, The Freedom Association and the New Nicotine Alliance, to send an open letter to Philip Hammond and Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health.
Yesterday’s joint open letter:
What's the truth? Was it going to be government policy to tax vaping? Is it all fake news? The answer is that it is probably somewhere between the two. Contentious policy decisions are frequently floated as ideas from unnamed sources in order to gauge the response. And, in this case, the response was pretty damning from a public health perspective.
What is evident is that all of the bodies concerned with harm reduction are not singing from the same hymn sheet – and this is not good for vaping or vapers.