Evapo Responds to the Proposed Vape Tax
The Treasury has announced a proposed ‘Sin-Tax’ that would be applied to all vape related products in the UK, as a way to help fund the additional £20 Billion that has been pledged to the NHS.
Through this proposed tax they plan to raise £40 Million in NHS funding, but is this really the right way to acquire the money?
Smoking and the NHS
One of the biggest burdens on the NHS are diseases brought on by smoking tobacco products, which account for a quarter of all patients.
E-cigarettes were designed as stop smoking aids and have helped millions of people across the UK kick the habit, which in turn is helping reduce their risk of smoke related diseases such as various cancers and heart disease.
The increasingly popular use of vape devices as a way to give up smoking is actually helping to relieve some of the pressure on the NHS in the long term, so why would we add additional taxes to these products that could discourage people from using them and prohibit the growth of vaping as an alternative to smoking?
Vaping and Health
Support and understanding towards the use of e-cigarettes and e-liquids has increased dramatically over the last couple of years, following health organisations like Public Health England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Cancer Research UK and many others releasing statements in support of their use.
This came after vaping was proved to be at least 95% safer than smoking, and this news prompted stop smoking clinics to start recommending e-cigarettes to patients along with other nicotine replacement therapies.
Andrej Kuttref, the CEO here at Evapo has expressed a sentiment that is shared by many vapers saying:
‘Quite the opposite, the VAT for vaping products should be lowered in line with NRT products in recognition of the public health gain brought by vaping. One in every 4 patients visits the hospital due to smoking related diseases. The NHS itself estimates that every smoker who switches to vaping saves the NHS £85k.’
Vape Tax Alternative
Surely, instead of adding additional tax to products that are helping many people change their lives for the better, people who, should they have continued to smoke, may in the future have been the one in four patients with smoking related diseases, the government should be encouraging the growth of the vape industry. The better solution would be to further increase VAT on traditional cigarettes, to encourage switching to the healthier vaping alternative.
Increasing VAT on tobacco products would support the NHS both in the short term and long term, by helping to raise the additional funding that has been pledged to the NHS, but also by helping relieve the long term drain on the health service by encouraging people to make the switch to a safer alternative like e-cigarettes.
The vaping industry is still in it’s infancy, but can do so much good if given the opportunity and support. The proposed ‘sin-tax’ could stunt the growth of the industry by preventing a lot of people from considering making the switch from smoking to vaping.
We hope that the government will soon see that the health of our nation does not have to rely solely on the NHS, but also on the industries that support it such as the vaping industry.
To discourage the industry would be to discourage a large group of people that just want to improve their own health and the health of those around them.
The money needed to help fund the NHS can come from a number of places, such as additional VAT added to cigarettes, but the benefits offered by e-cigarettes are a much needed innovation that should not be quashed.