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 such we are opposed to the imposition of excise on vaping products in Budget 2019.”
Notes to the Editor:
• Vape Business Ireland (VBI) is an alliance of businesses spanning the vaping product and e-liquid supply chain from manufacture to sale. VBI is Ireland’s largest vaping trade association, committed to an open debate about vaping products in Ireland.
• Vaping was found to be 95% less harmful than smoking in a 2015 report by Public Health England (PHE). PHE’s report in 2018 further concluded that vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits .
• The Healthy Ireland Survey 2017 found that 37% of those who successfully quit smoking used vaping to do so, despite no help or encouragement from Quit.ie or the HSE. The Tax Strategy Group (TSG) have recommended that the Government do not add excise duties onto vaping products for Budget 2019. See the TSG report on General Excise for Budget 2019 here.
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