Brussels, 28.11.2022. Consumers are voicing their concerns about the EU Commissions’ leaked plan to increase taxation on vaping products and fear negative consequences for public health. This comes from a Financial Times article stating that the EU Commission plans to “bring the taxation of novel smoking products, such as vapes and heated tobacco, into line with cigarettes”.
Higher taxation on vaping products will have catastrophic effects for those looking to quit and will unleash a massive new black market for vaping products, said Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance.
“The Commission claims that higher taxes will improve public health, but the reality is the exact opposite. A less harmful alternative, such as vaping, must be affordable for ordinary smokers trying to quit cigarettes. If the Commission wants to reduce the burden of smoking on public health, they must make vaping more affordable and accessible, not less”.
Divergent taxation of smoking and vaping products is essential for many people to switch. In addition, high taxes on vaping products are particularly harmful to those of modest means by making it harder to switch, while this group makes up the largest proportion of current smokers.
“High taxes hit the least advantaged people most. In times of multiple crises and people struggling to make ends meet, making vaping more expensive is the opposite of what we need. Policymakers must understand that tax increases on vaping will force people back to smoking or the black market, a scenario nobody wants. In times of crisis, people shouldn’t be further punished by an unscientific and ideological fight against vaping. This must be stopped,” said Landl.
The World Vapers’ Alliance urges the EU Commission and Member States to follow the scientific evidence and abstain from higher taxation of vaping products if we want to reduce smoking-induced burdens on public health. Access and affordability to vaping products must be guaranteed.
“Rather than fighting vaping, the EU finally must embrace tobacco harm reduction. What we need is risk-based regulation. Vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and, therefore, must not be treated the same way as conventional smoking,” added Landl