A Vaping Tax may be announced in the new Budget 

Hello to all vaping enthusiasts and those keen on navigating the ever-changing legislative environment! This week has brought news that’s stirring the pot in the vaping community: the UK government is floating the idea of implementing a new vaping tax on all vaping products, including disposables, aimed squarely at curtailing vaping’s appeal among the youth. As we gear up for next week’s budget meeting, let’s unpack what we know so far and what it could mean for vapers across the UK.

Currently, vaping products in the UK are hit with the standard 20% VAT. However, unlike their traditional tobacco counterparts, they’ve dodged any specific levy. The push for a new tax springs from a desire to make these products less appealing and harder to get for young people and non-smokers, under the theory that pricier products will deter these groups.

This development doesn’t come out of the blue. It follows on the heels of last month’s announcements for a nationwide ban on disposable vapes and tighter controls on flavours and marketing, all aimed at reducing vaping’s allure to the younger crowd. There’s also talk of beefing up the fines for retailers caught selling vapes to under-18s.

Vaping myths debunked

tAX OR LEVY?

The spotlight of this new levy falls on e-liquids, crucial to most vaping devices, from disposables to pod kits and pen-style setups. This proposal, briefly touched upon in November’s King’s Speech, suggests slapping higher tax rates on higher-nicotine products.

Dubbed an ‘easy option’ for the chancellor, this new tax could boost NHS coffers by an anticipated £40m in this year’s Autumn budget, stemming from the increased costs to manufacturers and retailers importing e-liquid products.

Moreover, this Autumn’s statement saw a separate 2% hike in tobacco taxes. With the upcoming budget, there’s buzz that tobacco duties might climb again, ensuring vaping remains a cheaper alternative to smoking. Treasury analysis forecasts that this move, coupled with the new vaping tax, could funnel around £500m per year into government revenues.

Should these proposals take effect, possibly as soon as early 2025, retailers would have a mere six months to adjust their product lines. This could significantly impact the UK’s 2.9 million vapers, potentially leaving many out of pocket for a quitting aid that doubles as a public health boon. With the average UK vaper spending about £275 annually on e-liquids, a 5% tax hike could mean an extra £13.75 each year, contributing to the NHS’s projected £40m boost.

Sin Taxing

This proposed increase and the disposable vape ban are seen by some as ‘sin taxes’, aimed at filling the NHS’s financial voids. Yet, critiques liken it to taxing bicycles to fund obesity crisis solutions. Voices from the UK Vaping Industry Association, like Dan Marchant, have lambasted the plan as ‘hypocritical’, arguing that vaping is a proven quitting aid on par with NHS-funded or tax-favored nicotine replacements.

As we navigate these proposals, the question looms: Is the vape tax merely a quick fix to prop up the NHS, or a legitimate strategy to prevent vaping among young people and non-smokers? We’re eager to hear your thoughts and perspectives on this evolving issue.

UKVIA

In the swirling midst of discussions about the government’s proposed ‘sin tax’ on vaping, the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has catapulted into the spotlight, securing a prominent position on the front page of City A.M. and featuring in notable publications such as The Express and The Sun. This media attention underscores the significant concern and dialogue surrounding the tax’s implications not just within the vaping community, but across broader societal and economic spheres.

Vape tax newspaper article on the front page of city a. M
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