The new tobacco tax bill introduced today by the German Government will have catastrophic effects and will unleash a massive new black market for vaping products, according to Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance (1).
The bill proposes to increase taxes on vaping liquids enormously, while only moderately increasing taxes on traditional cigarettes. The price for nicotine e-liquids will triple if the law is passed.
Speaking after the announcement, Michael Landl said: “The government says that these taxes will improve public health, but the reality is the exact opposite. As a less harmful alternative, vaping must be more affordable than smoking, to encourage smokers to quit. If Governments want to reduce the burden of smoking on public health, they must make vaping more affordable and more accessible, not less”.
In addition to the Liberal and Green opposition parties, the German Police Union publicly voiced their opposition to the tax increase. They stated that such tax increases would be a welcome “start-up for smugglers and counterfeiters”. The German customs union, BDZ, said that: “Due to the considerable tax burden on, for example, liquids, a black market for tax avoidance will inevitably develop.”
More expensive vaping products will hit lower-income groups the hardest, as they make up the largest population of current smokers in Germany.
Landl continued: “High taxes hit the least advantaged people most. Basic economics teaches us that increased prices on vaping products will lead to higher smoking rates. Either the government is neglecting the rules of economics, or they think they can fill a gap in the state coffers in the short term at the expense of people who want to quit smoking. This bill must be stopped”.
Italy imposed a ridiculous 80.5% tax rate on e-liquids in 2015 (2). The high prices resulted in thousands of vape shops shutting down and the numbers of vapers fell by almost two thirds to 255,000 with most retuning to smoking.
A further example came to light as recently as last week when Estonia officially recognised the damage high taxation had wrought (3). Estonians responded to high prices by illegally importing across the border, the creation of a booming unregulated black market, a growth in uncontrolled self-mixing.
- World Vapers’ Alliance - www.worldvapersalliance.com
- Greed and ignorance - https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/news/vaping-news/2015-03-04_greed-and-ignorance-italys-crippling-tax-on-e-liquid.html
- NNA Estonia Welcomes E-Liquid Tax Suspension - https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/news/vaping-news/2021-04-22_nna-estonia-welcomes-e-liquid-tax-suspension.html