UK Proposes New Tax on E-cigarettes

Recently, the British media politico reported that although the British government currently endorses E-cigarettes(Heat Not Burn & vape) as an aid to smoking cessation, the government is considering a new tax on E-cigarette(Heated herbal heatsticks) products in order to address the popularity of disposable e-cigarettes among minors in the UK. The proposal also includes further requirements for packaging, marketing and taste, but is unlikely to be a total ban on disposable e-cigarettes.


In 2022, a report assessing whether England could become a smoke-free region by 2030 sparked widespread concern in the UK. It is understood that certain specific regulations in this proposal are intended to address the issues identified in the report.


The UK has taken a number of comprehensive approaches to preventing underage smoking. A spokesman for the UK Department of Health and Social Care said. “The law is used to protect children from E-cigarettes(heated tabac manufacturer) by restricting sales to those under 18, limiting nicotine content, the size of the cartridges, labelling requirements and advertising restrictions. Advertisements for e-cigarettes and their components are prohibited from featuring any elements that may appeal to people under 18, such as well-known characters or celebrities.”


Just last week, England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty told a House of Commons committee that the marketing of e-cigarettes to children “has unknown consequences for intellectual development” and called the targeting “alarming. He warned that the rate of e-cigarette use among children has doubled in the past few years. This has somehow increased the attention of public opinion on the issue, which has forced the British government to provide solutions in the short term.


But on the other hand, there are calls within the UK to reduce VAT on E-cigarette(heated tabacco) products. 2022, the LGA (Local Government Association) has urged the UK government to reduce VAT on e-cigarettes from 20% (the UK regulates e-cigarettes under traditional tobacco) to 5%, bringing it in line with the tax rate on regular NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) such as nicotine gum and patches.


The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, said the 5% tax rate currently allowed by law only applies to “medicinal products that are designed to help people stop smoking.” The association added that the 5 percent tax rate should also apply to e-cigarettes, given the available scientific evidence that they do help people quit smoking.


It is reported that the British government has announced that it will make England a “smoke-free region” by 2030. Scotland will achieve this goal by 2034, while Northern Ireland and Wales, which are also part of the United Kingdom, have not yet set a date.