The UK Considers a New Tax on Vaping Products

Despite endorsing vapes as a smoking cessation tool, the UK considers a new tax on vaping products due to the increase in use of disposable vapes.

In order to tackle the increase in disposable vapes amongst teens, U.K. ministers are considering setting in place a new tax on vaping products. The considered proposals also include further regulations on packaging, marketing and flavours, however a total ban on disposable vapes is likely to be ruled out.

Politico reported that the proposals have been drawn up in response to the 2022 Khan review, which looked into whether the British government can make England smoke-free before 2030.

“We have strong regulations in place to prevent children from vaping. The law protects children from e-cigarettes through restricting sales to over 18s only, limiting nicotine content, refill bottle and tank sizes, labelling requirements and through advertising restrictions. Adverts for e-cigarettes and their components are prohibited from featuring anything likely to be of particular appeal to people under the age of 18, such as characters or celebrities would be familiar with,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care.

The government urged to reduce the VAT on vapes
On the other hand, last year the Local Government Association (LGA), urged the UK government to reduce the VAT on vaping products from 20% to 5%, to bring them in line with the rates on regular NRTs such as nicotine gum and patches.

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, said that the current law only allows the 5% rate to be applied to “pharmaceutical products designed to help people stop smoking tobacco.” The association added that given the existing scientific evidence indicating that the products do actually help people quit, the 5% rate should be applied.

“There is increasing evidence that e-cigarettes, along with other dedicated support, act as an important gateway to help people to stop smoking, which reduces serious illness and death as well as other pressures on health and care services,” said the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board chairman, David Fothergill.