Vaping and tax
Vaping and Taxation
Independent studies show that price is an important factor in encouraging smokers to transition towards vaping, and that demand is more responsive to price than cigarettes. We believe if we aren’t able to deliver a strong value proposition to those adult smokers who are price conscious, it will be impossible to encourage them to transition away from smoking cigarettes. Regulatory and excise tax regimes for vaping products should recognise that they are completely different from tobacco products, and we urge regulators to resist the temptation to treat the vaping category as a ‘cash cow’ revenue generator to plug budgetary shortfalls.
Applying excise taxes to vaping products makes them more expensive. This in turn makes vape products less appealing to adult smokers who are looking for ‘something better’ than traditional tobacco products. Vapes do not contain tobacco, and sometimes do not even contain nicotine, so it is disproportionate and confusing to conflate them with traditional tobacco products. Perhaps most importantly, health bodies around the world increasingly acknowledge that vaping provides significant potential for reduced harm if smokers transition from smoking to vaping.
Affordability is key to attracting and retaining smokers in the vaping category. Inflating vape prices via the imposition of excise tax could make them as or more expensive than conventional cigarettes. Policies that increase the retail price of vapes could therefore keep people smoking which will have a negative impact on public health.