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Vapers To Pay More In Latvia

Latvian government is to increase e-liquids taxation and in doing so making tobacco harm reduction less appealing to current smokers

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Latvian government is to increase e-liquids taxation and in doing so making tobacco harm reduction less appealing to current smokers. The move has been decried by the World Vapers' Alliance, which has called the anti-science approach and demanded the Latvian authorities follow an evidence-based approach towards the taxation of alternative nicotine products.

The Latvian government adopted a series of amendments to the Excise Tax Law which include a gradual increase in the excise tax on e-liquids and other tobacco substitute products.

E-liquids and their components will see their excise tax rates increase by an average of 21% every year in 2024, 2025 and 2026, while tobacco substitute products, a category including nicotine pouches, will do so by 10%.

The World Vapers' Alliance says the amendments will negatively impact Latvia’s efforts to curb smoking by making options to switch less attractive.

Alberto Gómez Hernández, Community Manager of the World Vapers' Alliance, commented: “Increasing the taxation of safer nicotine products will discourage smokers from switching and push users back to smoking.

“The international evidence has shown that increasing taxation of e-cigarettes and e-liquids has always led to an increase in smoking, particularly among young adults and low-income groups.

“Latvia should follow the steps of countries that are successfully reducing smoking rates by encouraging smokers to switch, such as the United Kingdom and Sweden, instead of making it more costly for them.”

The bill will also increase the excise tax rates of heated tobacco products and combustible cigarettes by 5% and 5.6% every year, respectively.

Gómez Hernández added: “Vaping is less harmful than smoking and should be treated as such. The Latvian government should follow a risk-based approach to the taxation of tobacco and alternative nicotine products, with safer products paying lower taxes relative to traditional cigarettes.

On the contrary, these measures aim to increase the price of alternative products more rapidly than that of traditional cigarettes, effectively reverting such an approach.

“Countries should always look at keeping a large price differential between less harmful nicotine products and traditional cigarettes. Keeping alternatives to smoking available and cheaper than combustible cigarettes is a great policy to help smokers switch and improve public health.”

World Vapers’ Alliance called on the Latvian government to follow an evidence-based approach towards the taxation of alternative nicotine products to incentivise smokers to switch.

The World Vapers’ Alliance says it, “amplifies the voice of vapers worldwide and empowers them to make a difference in their communities. Our members are vapers associations and individual vapers from all over the world.”


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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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