Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Share on:
The World Vapers’ Alliance says that the leak of a tax hike on vaping products is a “controversial move”. The UK government, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, is planning to impose a sin tax levy of up to 25% on vaping products alongside traditional cigarettes. This plan has sparked significant concern among UK consumers, as it threatens to undermine the nation’s progress in harm reduction and smoking cessation efforts.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, expressed grave concerns regarding the government's direction: “It appears that in a bid to generate additional tax revenue, the UK government is willing to compromise the health of thousands of smokers. This is yet another step in the wrong direction.

“By making less harmful alternatives to smoking more expensive, the government is effectively deterring smokers from making the switch. This measure will disproportionately affect the less affluent and exacerbate health inequalities, especially during a cost-of-living crisis.”

The World Vapers’ Alliance says that statistical evidence supports the disproportionate impact of smoking on lower socio-economic groups.

The Alliance says: “In 2021, the Office for National Statistics highlighted a stark disparity in smoking prevalence related to economic status in the UK. Unemployed individuals reported a significantly higher smoking rate (25.7%) compared to those in paid employment (13.3%).

“Furthermore, in England, a pronounced smoking prevalence was observed in the most deprived neighbourhoods (23.8%) in contrast to the least deprived (6.8%).”

Landl further criticised the government’s proposed bans on disposable vapes and generational restrictions on Heat-Not-Burn products, stating, “Along with the proposed tax increases, these bans will only serve to transform the UK from a leader in tobacco harm reduction into a haven for black market activities.”

The World Vapers’ Alliance says that it is urging the United Kingdom government to reconsider these measures, advocating for a balanced approach that prioritises public health and supports smokers in transitioning to less harmful alternatives.

The World Vapers’ Alliance says it “amplifies the voices of vapers worldwide and empowers them to make a difference for their communities.”

It continues: “Our members are vapers associations as well as individual vapers from all over the world. More information on”

Michael Landl is the director of the World Vapers’ Alliance. He is from Austria and is based in Vienna. He is an experienced policy professional and a passionate vaper. He studied at the University of St. Gallen and worked for several public policy outlets and as well in the German Parliament.

Photo Credit:

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

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.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

CAPHRA Highlights Tobacco Control Flaws

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates highlights the flaws in tobacco control which has led to the rise of black market in Australia

Vaping News

A Missed Opportunity at COP10

The Smoke Free Sweden movement says that COP10 was a missed opportunity to save millions of lives

Vaping News

COP10: Promote Tobacco Harm Reduction

Experts with Smoke Free Sweden are emphasising the urgent need for a Tobacco Harm Reduction approach at COP10


COP10 is a Threat to Safer Nicotine Products

The EU obscures its position on low-risk alternatives to smoking before the WHO COP10 conference in Panama, starting Monday