Vape Business Ireland (VBI) welcome the recommendation by the Tax Strategy Group (TSG) in their ‘General Excise Paper – Tobacco Products Tax, Alcohol Products Tax and Betting Duty’ not to impose excise on vaping products at this time. The TSG recognise that ‘many sources consider e-cigarettes to be a cessation tool’ and that ‘there are risks associated with moving ahead without a harmonised approach [across EU Member States]’. Its confirmation that these products are adequately taxed as a consumer good should prompt other Government departments to open up and discuss vaping as a growing and innovative sector.
VBI Director Michael Kenneally commented: “Today’s decision is an important step in Government understanding of vaping and why it has a major role to play in becoming an alternative to smoking. Vaping products are consumer goods where VAT has already been paid. They do not contain tobacco, and the Department of Health found that 99% of users are current or former tobacco smokers that have used vaping to quit smoking, while this year’s HIQA report on cessation shows that an impressive 29% of adults trying to stop smoking are using vaping as a means to do so. It is important we support those looking for an alternative to smoking and are happy that the TSG recognise taxing such products ‘could in turn undermine the broader public health objective of reducing tobacco consumption.’”
Mr Kenneally also hopes that today’s decision is a watershed in the Government’s approach to vaping: “This is a progressive step, just weeks after the British Department of Health published an innovative report on creating a smoke-free generation, including vaping products in that strategy. VBI hope that the Irish Government follow in their footsteps, by providing information on Quit.ie for those looking for an alternative to smoking and supporting a sector which is giving thousands of people the opportunity to move to a tobacco-free alternative.”