Towards the end of 2020, the European Commission had launched a consultation with regards their plans to tax vaping products in the same way as combustible cigarettes. The consultation process ended on the 5th of January, and 113 (84%) out of 134 responses from associations, members of the public, and the industry, voiced the positive impacts of vaping for smoking cessation, and the significantly negative impact that imposing the same tax as is set on cigarettes, would have.
84% of the responses spoke against the tax.
“I am delighted by the overwhelming number of responses in favour of vaping to this consultation. It shows that many people know the potential for harm reduction of vaping. . What policymakers need now to understand is that tax hikes on vaping will lead to people switching back to smoking, an outcome absolutely nobody wishes for,” said WVA Director Michael Landl.
He pointed out that making vaping less appealing to smokers would be counterproductive. “Making vaping less appealing to smokers by higher prices will discourage current smokers from switching to less harmful alternatives. This is certainly not going to be of any public health benefit. Additionally, high taxes on vaping products are particularly harmful to the lower income brackets of the population, which make up the largest proportion of current smokers.”
Regulations should be based on science
In a recent press release Landl said that lawmakers need to follow the scientific evidence and regulate accordingly, highlighting that tighter regulations and higher taxes will not achieve the desired results. “If we want to reduce smoking induced burdens on public health, access and affordability to vaping products need to be guaranteed,” he concluded.