Electronic Cigarettes and their Future
All smokers are well aware of the risks that take with their health every time they light another cigarette. Contracting smoking related cancer in obviously much more likely if you smoke regularly. Many governments around the world are influenced by the tobacco industry.
Electronic Cigarette Smoking and Taxation
It would cost the UK government over £12 billion in lost tobacco duty annually if they succeed in getting all the smokers to quit. Alcohol is another harmful substance that the government doesn’t mind too much who it kills because of the money it brings into the treasury. Recently, there have been news stories surrounding the safety of electronic cigarettes.
Every year, 100,000 people die in the UK from smoking related illnesses, from which the government earns billions. At the same time, the government have introduced workplace health and safety laws to protect the 200 workers who die annually in work related accidents.
Where would the government find the £12.1 billion it would lose if smokers all quit tobacco? We can conclude that if there is enough profit involved, the government won’t necessarily protect us.
E-Cigarettes and Possible Regulation
As tax revenues fall as more and more smokers switch to electronic cigarettes, it will become necessary for the government to regulate and therefore be able to tax electronic cigarettes and e-liquid. It is likely that regulation will mean the demise of smaller manufacturers making and selling e-cigarettes. Will this be in the public interest, and for the protection of smokers? Regulation will have more to do with taxation than any perceived health concerns.
Opponents to Electronic Cigarettes
Both the tobacco industry and the smoking cessation industry have the most to lose by the rising popularity of e-cigarettes. Nicotine patches and gum don’t give the user the same satisfying hit of nicotine when used. The tobacco suppliers don’t want to lose customers to e-cigarettes, however, they can’t present a credible argument based on health concerns.
The smoking cessation industry has been the driving force behind the negative press given to e-cigarettes, possibly being supported in some quarters by sections of the tobacco industry.
Potential Regulation of E-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. If the government apply too much duty to e-liquid then they will push people towards making their own e-liquid which is quite easy to do.
Once regulated, the official manufacturers will in all likelihood do everything they can to prevent people from making their own e-liquid. For all the scare stories about counterfeit cigarettes, most cheap cigarettes were smuggled rather than faked, meaning they were real but without UK duty paid. The more popular e-cigarettes become, the soon they will face regulation. For e-cigarettes to be viable for the government the e-liquid needs to be taxed, otherwise the exchequer will lose too much money.
E-cigarettes are a safer nicotine delivery method than smoking tobacco, with far less harmful ingredients. Despite this, if e-liquid can’t be taxed then it will be more likely that they will be banned instead. Electronic cigarette devices are bound to be regulated in the next few years as this will enable the government to tax the e-liquid and replace their lost tobacco duty revenues.
As more people start using e-cigarettes the government will lose more and more tobacco duty, necessitating the need for duty on e-liquid to compensate the treasury.
The regulation of electric smoking pens & devices and the e-liquid that they use will have to happen at some point in time in the not to distant future.