Alternatives to Smoking
Cigarettes are proven to be carcinogenic and smokers know the health risks they are facing. People who smoke have a far greater chance of dying of smoking related cancer. Governments all over the world are influenced by our all powerful tobacco industry.
The Government, Politicians and Future Legislation
It would cost the UK government over £12 billion in lost tobacco duty annually if they succeed in getting all the smokers to quit. Along with tobacco, alcohol also raises billions annually in tax revenue and is also harmful for its users.
Recently, there have been news stories surrounding the safety of electronic cigarettes. Cigarettes kill over 100,000 people a year in the UK, but are not made illegal, meanwhile, the government has introduced tough health and safety workplace legislation to reduce workplace fatalities which stand at less than 200 per year.
In 2011/12, the Governments tax revenue from tobacco was £12.1 Billion. The only conclusion you can draw is that the government will protect you unless it is more profitable not to.
E-Cigarettes and Possible Regulation
The lost tax revenue from smokers switching to electronic cigarettes will force the exchequer to look at the regulation and taxation of e-liquid. As vaporizers are regulated, the smaller specialist suppliers will be forced out by the industries giants.
The main argument for regulation of e cigarettes will be health based, while the practicalities indicate that lost tobacco duty needs to be raised from somewhere. The main reason for regulation of e-cigarettes will be to allow the government to effectively tax them and their use.
Competitors of E-Cigarettes
Two powerful industries, the tobacco and the smoking cessation sectors are going to be worst hit by increased e-cigarette use. E cigarettes give the user a satisfying inhalation hit of nicotine unlike patches and gum.
Tobacco companies, fearful of losing customers don’t want e-cigarettes to grow in popularity, however they aren’t in a position to credibly argue against them on health grounds.
It is thought that some cigarette companies are quietly supporting the efforts of the smoking cessation industry to campaign against electronic cigarettes and their growing popularity.
Likely Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes
The introduction of tax on e cigarettes and e-liquid will offset some of the duty lost by smokers making the switch, but it is unlikely that e-liquid would be taxed to the same onerous levels as tobacco.
All the ingredients necessary to make e-liquid are readily available so anyone can easily make their own e-juice without having to buy regulated e-liquid that has duty on it.
Whether people will end up making their own e-liquids is sufficient numbers to affect the government’s finances remains to be seen. Smokers in general are prepared to try cheaper cigarettes, regardless of their source and whether they are “legitimate” or not.
It is highly unlikely that e-cigarettes and vaporizers will escape regulation completely. Being able to tax e-liquid and electronic smoking devices is the only way that they will be allowed to continue to be sold in the longer term.
If our politicians can’t see an effective means to tax e-cigarettes, it’s highly likely that they will be banned on spurious health grounds. E-cigarettes and vaporisers look likely to be regulated by governments worldwide in the next few years especially if they continue to grow in popularity.
When electronic cigarettes reach the tipping point then it will become necessary for the treasury to act in order to protect its shrinking tobacco duty revenues.
In conclusion, it is unlikely that electronic cigarettes will continue to be sold unregulated for much longer.