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Global vaping community calls on World Health Organisation to reverse moves to ban vaping

Vape Business Ireland (VBI) has joined an international push for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to reform its stance on vaping regulation. This will be the first time that international consumer groups and leaders of the vaping industry join forces to reform discordant global health policies. Organisations from across North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia have signed this call to action. The WHO’s tobacco control group will be meeting at the 8th session of its Conference of the Parties (COP8) in Geneva (1-6 October) to explore international guidance on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (vaping products/e-cigarettes). Despite having recognised vaping’s potential for reducing smoking rates, the WHO tobacco control group took the contradictory stance in 2016 that member states could also ban vaping products outright as part of a tobacco control plan. The WHO’s position is at odds with member states, in particular those such as the UK and New Zealand, who advocate smokers switching to vaping as part of harm-reduction policy. The UAE, Philippines and Australia are also currently considering lifting their bans on vaping. International vaping bodies have come together out of concern that the WHO’s stance may compromise the progress made by countries who have embraced vaping, by opening the door to potential bans. Vapers believe the WHO tobacco control group’s messaging is not only detrimental to public health, but unaccountable, least of all to the consumers whose taxes fund but do not appear to influence its policies. VBI Director Micheal Kenneally said: “We and our international co-signatories are proud to stand up for vaping as a route for smokers seeking a less harmful alternative. We are...

Vape Business Ireland calls for no excise on vaping products in Budget 2019

Vape Business Ireland (VBI) are calling on the Government not to introduce excise tax on vaping products in Budget 2019. Vaping products are not cigarettes and do not contain tobacco and therefore should not have an excise placed on them. The Department of Health has committed to achieving a Tobacco Free Ireland with a very ambitious target of 5% adult smokers by 2025. Applying excise to vaping will undermine the 150,000 adult vapers in Ireland, of which 99% are ex-smokers, according to the Healthy Ireland Survey 2017 . The vaping market is a fast-evolving sector and imposing excise would run a high risk of stifling its growth. VBI members estimate that the vaping sector already employs about 300 people directly in Ireland, with many more indirectly employed. Imposing excise on vaping products sold in Ireland could undermine Irish SMEs and benefit online sellers outside the jurisdiction, who make up an estimated 70% of the Irish market. Due to the ease of cheap international cross-border online purchases, an excise is highly likely to push the consumer to purchase outside of Ireland. VBI Director Michael Kenneally commented: “Vaping has a major role to play in the Government’s plans to create a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025. To impose excise on the product is to undermine their potential to assist the State in achieving its 2025 objectives. Vaping products do not contain tobacco and are a less harmful alternative to smoking. These products should be embraced and encouraged, not taxed or placed in the same bracket as smoking. It is important we support those looking for an alternative to cigarettes, and as...

Vape Business Ireland pre-Budget 2019 submission

  Vaping products are not tobacco products. They differ in terms of their content, use, effects and means of manufacture. As such, vaping products should be considered as an entirely separate category to tobacco products and should not be subject to excise. Vaping products demonstrate a very successful less harmful alternative to smoking, which should be embraced and encouraged, not taxed or placed in the same bracket as smoking.[1] Vaping is a fast-evolving category that is highly fragmented and it would be very difficult to yield tax due to the variation on devices, liquids and the large range of sources, manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, retailers and online (inside and outside the EU). Indeed, imposition of excise on vaping products sold in Ireland would give rise to unfair competition vis-à-vis online sellers outside the jurisdiction who make up an estimated 70% of the Irish market. In a report to the European Union’s Council of Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) dated 12 January 2018 the European Commission concluded that “from a health perspective a cautious approach should be adopted towards a potential harmonized taxation of e-cigarettes”.[2] The Commission is now undergoing an external study to assess market data to “fill the information gap” and it would be premature for any excise be placed on vaping products in advance of the publication of that study.   Vape Business Ireland (VBI) is an alliance of businesses spanning the vaping product and e-liquid supply chain from manufacture to sale. VBI is committed to ensuring, in the context of national taxation and fiscal policy, that no policies are adopted at national level which unduly restrict the development of...

UKVIA & Vape Business Ireland Joint response to consultation in Northern Ireland

UK Vaping Industry Association and Vape Business Ireland welcome the proposal to introduce a minimum age limit of 18 for buying nicotine inhaling products, including vaping products in Northern Ireland. We welcome this move to bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK by introducing minimum age limit for vaping products sales, and the introduction of the offences of underage selling or proxy selling of nicotine inhaling products. See our full...

World No Tobacco Day: Vape Business Ireland call for Quit.ie to provide information on vaping.

On today’s ‘World No Tobacco Day’, Vape Business Ireland (VBI) wants to ensure that smokers have all the information on alternatives to smoking available to them. To that end, VBI has called for the Department of Health and the HSE to publish information about vaping as an alternative to smoking on their Quit.ie website. VBI spokesperson Alan Buckley said: “There are around 150,000 users of vaping products in Ireland, who understand that vaping is far less harmful than smoking – and they have decided so without getting this information from Quit.ie.” Credible scientific research into vaping has already been carried out by Cancer Research UK, Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians. Buckley continued: “Policies on vaping need to be led by a combination of existing scientific evidence, and an in-depth understanding of why Irish ex-smokers are choosing to do so in ever-greater numbers. More research needs to be carried out in Ireland.” “VBI welcomed HIQA’s recent report into smoking cessation that showed 29% of those who attempt to quit smoking annually do so with the aid of vaping products. “Vaping is a phenomenon that is happening as we speak – the Department of Health’s own Healthy Ireland survey showed that 99% of vaping product users are former...