Last week, a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung(1) said the German Federal Ministry of Finance is planning to increase the tobacco tax and extend it to all vape products, treating the harm reduction product as being as dangerous as smoked tobacco and acting as a disincentive to current smokers.
Ecig, eliquids and other related products were all exempt from the tobacco tax so the change in approach would lead to huge price rises.
The WVA(2) amplifies the voice of vapers around the world and empowers them to make a difference for their communities. Its members are vapers associations as well as individual vapers from all over the world.
It believes, “The current discussion about increasing taxes on vaping products completely ignores the consumers. Virtually all current vapers in Germany are ex-smokers, and a major price increase in vape products would push many back to using more harmful cigarettes.”
Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, said: “Anyone who seriously wants to reduce the damage to public health caused by smoking has to make access to vaping products easier, not more difficult. Vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and is recommended by health authorities in the United Kingdom, France and Canada for smoking cessation.
“Germany should follow the lead of these countries instead of starting a war on vapes. Vaping can improve the lives of many smokers and therefore these products must continue to be affordable. A relapse of up to two million vapers to cigarette consumption would have fatal effects on public health.”
The WVA says that making vaping products more expensive will be “particularly harmful to the lower income groups of the population”. It is these people who make up the largest proportion of current smokers in Germany. The organisation says the argument is clear that differentiated taxation for vaping products and cigarettes is essential to encourage current smokers to switch and reduce their harm exposure. The WVA believes that the lower the price reduced harm products command the greater the incentive is to make the switch.
Michael Landl concluded: “If politicians want to improve the health of smokers, they have to ensure that vaping products are affordable for everyone. People who want to stay away from cigarettes or who want to switch should not be used as a source of funding for the riddled state budget. Unfortunately, it looks like that, even if nobody wants to admit that.”