Smoking and the Alternatives
Smokers all know the risks they take when they smoke. Cigarette smokers are far more likely to die from lung and throat cancer. Many governments around the world are influenced by the tobacco industry.
The Government, Politicians and Future Legislation
If all the UK’s smokers quit cigarettes, the government will lose over £12 billion in annual tobacco duty. The only other substance that is sanctioned by the government while also harming its users is alcohol. Recently, there have been news stories surrounding the safety of electronic cigarettes.
Each year, 200 people die in work related accidents, leading the government to introduce health and safety legislation to protect them, however, at the same time they allow 100,000 people to die each year from smoking related illnesses because the exchequer needs the tobacco duty.
The UK government needs the income raised from smokers. Are we to assume that the Government doesn’t mind too much about 100,000 deaths annually because they are profitable deaths?
Electronic Cigarette Regulation
As more people switch to e-cigarettes, tobacco duty revenues will fall, requiring the need for duty on e-liquid. The industrial giants that already dominate the smoking cessation industry will soon take over the vaporizer sector once regulation occurs. This won’t be about protection for the public, the government have already proven that they have no interest in protecting smokers from themselves. Regulation will have more to do with taxation than any perceived health concerns.
Opponents to E-Cigarettes
The two markets that will be most affected by increased e-cigarette use are the smoking cessation and tobacco industries. Nicotine patches and gum can’t provide the same satisfying hit of nicotine that an e-cigarette or vaporizer can. Tobacco companies, fearful of losing customers don’t want e-cigarettes to grow in popularity, however they aren’t in a position to credibly argue against them on health grounds.
There are suspicions within the e-cigarette industry that some tobacco companies are quietly supporting the negative stance taken by the smoking cessation product manufacturers as it is also in their own interests to prevent e-cigarettes from becoming too popular.
Likely Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes
The government needs to decide whether it wants the £12 billion in duty or a healthier nation, rather than continuing to try to achieve both at the same time. The danger for the government is that because it is quite easy to make e-liquid, it would also be quite straightforward for people to avoid paying duty on their e-juice.
Regulated manufacturers of e-liquid will no doubt do all they can to warn us of the dangers of making our own e-liquid. Smokers in general are prepared to try cheaper cigarettes, regardless of their source and whether they are “legitimate” or not. It is highly unlikely that e-cigarettes and vaporizers will escape regulation completely. Taxing e-cigarettes and e-liquid is going to be the preferred choice for politicians.
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. E-cigarettes and vaporisers look likely to be regulated by governments worldwide in the next few years especially if they continue to grow in popularity. Shrinking tobacco duty revenues will cause the government to act on regulation and taxation of electronic smoking devices and e-liquid.
It is seeming inevitable that at some point in the near future electronic smoking devices will be regulated to give the treasury some control of lost tobacco duty.