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Vaping Could Save £Billions

Anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health has made a Spring Budget submission to the Government and provided a cost benefit analysis that would result by achieving Smokefree 2030

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Anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health has made a Spring Budget submission to the Government and provided a cost benefit analysis that would result by achieving Smokefree 2030. Funding for the submission came from the British Heart Foundation , Cancer Research UK, and the Department of Health and Social Care.

ASH and SPECTRUM published the budget representation and Cost Benefit and Public Finances analysis, detailing the cost of smoking and the benefits of investing £125 million a year to deliver the Government’s Smokefree 2030 ambition. The quantity of money was recommended last year in the Independent Khan review.

Key findings from the CBPF report

  • The cost of smoking to public finances (£21 bn) is nearly double the revenue raised by tobacco taxes (£11 bn)
  • Spending £125 million a year to deliver a smokefree 2030 could provide a net benefit to public finances of £5.3 billion by 2030
  • A cost-benefit analysis of this investment found a net benefit to society over 50 years of £775.7 billion

Action on Smoking and Health says: “This Budget representation sets out the economic benefits from achieving the Government’s ambition of a smokefree England by 2030, which will increase government revenues, grow the economy, increase employability, deliver a net benefit to public finances and mitigate the cost of living crisis for some of the most disadvantaged in society.”

The Government’s ambition is to achieve a Smokefree 2030, meaning smoking rates of 5% or below, and recognises the importance of tackling smoking. But lately, it has gone quiet on the subject and noises were being made under the previous PM Liz Truss that it would be dropped altogether.

None of the recommendations from the Khan Review have been implemented.

Cancer Research UK currently estimates that, at current funding declines, it will take until 2039 to achieve this smoke-free status at the earliest.

The Khan Review said that investing in widely promoting vaping to current smokers was a priority.

The evidence shows that what is needed is an updated comprehensive strategy. Javed Khan’s Independent Review published in June 2022, recommended such a strategy, backed up by additional Government funding for tobacco control of £125 million a year. Compared to the costs of smoking and the benefits of achieving the Government’s smokefree 2030 ambition, this is a small investment,” adds Action on Smoking and Health.

As part of its proposals, Action on Smoking and Health suggests the Chancellor should: “Introduce an excise tax on disposable (single use) e-cigarettes to disincentivise their use, so lessening their environmental impact and reducing their use as an entry product into vaping by children under 18.”

Continuing: “Affordability could be reduced relatively quickly and easily through taxation. We recommend making e-cigarettes an excisable product and setting a tax on disposable vapes, while retaining a zero rating for the re-chargeable and refillable products which are the main products used by adult ex-smokers who used e-cigarettes to help them quit.”

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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