VAPING PLEA: Phillip Hammond must not slap a tax on vaping because it helps smokers quit, leading campaigners demand

In an open letter to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Health, the UKVIA has joined-up with key Westminster campaign groups and think tanks to call on them to recognise vaping’s public health potential and not to impose a new vaping ‘sin’ tax.

The letter was covered in The Sun, as well as Talking Retail and vaping news sites.

 

The SunPHILIP Hammond must not slap a tax on vaping because it helps smokers quit, saves the NHS cash and would be counter-productive, campaigners insisted yesterday.

In an open letter to the Chancellor and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, think tanks and pressure groups called on the Government to support an anti-smoking policy that “embraces harm reduction”.

Philip Hammond has been urged not to slap a tax on vaping because it helps smokers quit

The letter said bringing in any tax on the habit would “undermine public health and be inconsistent with Government policy”.

The Sun revealed last week Treasury bean-counters were looking at taxing Britain’s 2.9million vapers – who currently pay no levy on their habit.

Users typically spend around £275 a year on vaping fluid.

A five per cent tax would cost them £13.75 a year and raise almost £40million.The letter from leading pressure groups said bringing in any tax on vaping would ‘undermine public health and be inconsistent with Government policy’

The letter is signed by the Center for Policy Studies, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the Adam Smith Institute, the UK Vaping Industry Association, The Freedom Association and the New Nicotine Alliance.

It read: “We have noted concerning reports that the government is actively considering the imposition of a new tax on vaping products.

“We urge the government not to place additional taxes on vaping, a consumer-led product that has helped millions of people reduce or stop smoking and saved the health service money at no cost to the NHS.

“Such a tax would undermine public health and be inconsistent with government policy.”

The plea, which was also sent to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, urged the Government to support an anti-smoking policy that ’embraces harm reduction’

The letter points out as well as saving the NHS cash from preventing people smoking, it is also bought by consumers while nicotine patches, gum or inhalers cost the NHS vast amounts and also receive a VAT reduction.

Public Health England have previously said any changes in pricing on vaping needs to ensure e- cigarettes are “affordable to smokers to avoid discouraging smokers from switching away from smoked tobacco which would be counter-productive in public health terms”.