Tax on vapes ‘is not a good idea’, says expert


As chancellor Jeremy Hunt prepares to unveil the March budget today, an expert has said the rumoured tax on vape liquids ‘really isn’t a good idea’.

The former head of Leicestershire and Rutland’s Stop Smoking Service Lou Ross said measures that will make vaping more expensive go against the government’s aim for the UK to be smoke free by 2030.

Reported by Planet Radio, she added: ‘Putting a tax on the liquid that people will be using, especially given that they will be people with poor mental health; people in difficult circumstances; living in poverty, is entirely the wrong way to go in my opinion.’

It is believed that a vaping tax will be paid on imports and by manufacturers. It will also be levied on the liquid in vapes, meaning products with more nicotine will have a higher level of tax.

The proposed tax is modelled on 15 similar levies across Europe, with the European Commission planning to implement a minimum level vaping levy across the EU.

Encourage quitting

In addition, Hunt is expected to announce a one-off increase to the tobacco duty to ensure that vaping is the cheaper option.

Together, the two new measures are thought to raise over £500 million a year by 2028/29, according to treasury analysis.

Sunak aims to both prevent children from taking up vaping and encourage adult smokers to switch to vapes.

In a vaping consultation report from earlier this month, the government said: ‘However, we are mindful of the need to balance a price increase that deters young people vaping with ensuring that vaping remains a more affordable option than smoking, to encourage adult smokers to quit.’

What are your thoughts on a potential vaping levy? Get in touch [email protected].

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