The United Kingdom government have announced plans to increase taxes on vaping with the intention of generating forty-million pounds for the NHS. This plan is being referred to as ‘sin-taxes’ which are part of a Treasury initiative to find the extra twenty-billion pounds they pledged for the NHS.
There has already been a lot of criticism of this plan as many see it as a punishment for people trying to use vaping to help them quit smoking.
Vaping has been proven to almost double the chances of smokers quitting for good and organisations like Public Health England support these findings. Around a hundred thousand people die each year in the United Kingdom as a result of smoking related illness and smoking is estimated to cost the NHS billions of pounds each year. So, why is the government punishing people who are trying to give up smoking?
This increased tax on vaping will only make a small percentage of the money pledged to the NHS. And it could also end up costing the NHS if the tax makes it harder for smokers to quit.
The United Kingdom is one of the most progressive countries in the world when it comes to accepting the current research into vaping. And the number of smokers has decreased dramatically since vaping started to become popular. Chris Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs think tank has said that a vaping tax would harm the United Kingdom’s health.
Pros And Cons
The average vaper spends between three hundred pounds and seven hundred and fifty pounds per year on vaping products, depending on how often they buy new kits or mods. This means than an extra five percent tax would cost the average vaper between fifteen and thirty-seven pounds fifty pence.
This might not seem like a huge amount, but this is on top of the existing taxes that vaping products are subjected too. Critics point out that the vape tax punishes people who want to use vaping to help them quit smoking and could be seen as the government targeting extra taxes at smokers who want to quit.
Taxes on tobacco products in the United Kingdom can be as high as ninety percent and are among the highest in the world. Taxing tobacco products generates around twelve billion pounds each year.
The vape tax means that vaping is being treated more like smoking by the Treasury, but it won’t generate the amount of money they need and could end up costing the NHS more in the long run.
Support of the vaping tax
Supporters of the vaping tax have claimed that it will improve public health by cutting cigarette consumption. But this isn’t what the statistics show.
Vaping has been proven to almost double the chances of smokers quitting for good and organisations like Public Health England agree that vaping is significantly safer than tobacco products and isn’t a gateway for new people to take up smoking. So, it’s hard to see how punishing vapers with increased tax would improve public health.
Criticism of the vaping tax
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to the new tax is how it could impact the health of the nation. Chris Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs think tank has said that a vaping tax would harm the United Kingdom’s health.
Studies show that the main reason why people turn to vaping is to help them give up smoking and get away from the dangers involved. Naturally, people are concerned that any increase in vaping tax could discourage smokers from trying vaping and making it harder for them to give up tobacco products.
How It Will It Help?
Smoking is regarded as the largest, preventable cause of death in the world. Smoking produces thousands of chemicals which have a strong connection to cancer, heart disease, lung disease and other illnesses. Around half of smokers will die as a result of smoking and about ten percent of these deaths are victims of second hand smoke.
The cravings that come with nicotine withdrawal makes quitting smoking incredibly difficult and there are a lot of products available to help people quit, such as patches, tablets and gum. Support and advice from organisations like the NHS and Public Health England have also been shown to increase the chances of smokers quitting for good.
E-cigarettes have been proven to almost double the chances of smokers successfully quitting and so far thousands of smokers each year have given up cigarettes with the help of vaping. Public Health England, the NHS, the Royal college of Physicians and other medical organisations have supported the findings that vaping can help people give up smoking.
In recent years a lot of research has been done into the effects of vaping and the results show that vaping is significantly safer than smoking. Medical organisations like the NHS and Public Health England have also supported these results, saying that vaping is around 95% safer than smoking.
Putting It Into Effect
The new vape tax, or so called ‘sin-taxes’ are intended to generate money that can be used by the NHS. But critics of the plan point out that the tax treats vaping as if it was the same as smoking, despite all the evidence that vaping is significantly safer.
Vaping has also been proven to almost double the chances of smokers successfully giving up tobacco products. Around half of smokers die from smoking related illnesses and smoking cost the NHS billions of pounds each year. So, why is the government punishing vapers when the majority of people take up vaping to help them quit cigarettes?
Some have argued that the increase in tax on vaping products isn’t a big deal. But critics of the tax point out that it could negatively affect the health of the nation if it ends up discouraging smokers from trying vaping. Perhaps the government would be better off doing more to discourage smoking instead of punishing people who turn to vaping to help them quit?