E-Cigarettes and The Law
Smoking cigarettes is dangerous and all smokers are aware of the risks they take by smoking. Cigarette smokers expose themselves to the increased odds of dying from cancer. The power and influence of the large Tobacco companies is well documented.
The Government, Politicians and Future Legislation
The government in the UK faces a costly dilemma, if they aid too many smokers to quit cigarettes, they will lose a large slice of the £12 billion in annual tobacco duty that the country needs. The only other substance that is sanctioned by the government while also harming its users is alcohol.
There is increasing anti e-cigarette feeling growing online. 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 £12.1 billion raised from tobacco duty would have to be found elsewhere if all smokers quit tomorrow. It appears that the government will only protect people if it suits their finances.
E-Cigarettes and Possible Regulation
Regulation will only come for one reason, to protect the government’s income streams by being able to tax e-liquid. Regulation will lead to the e-cigarette industry being taken over by the large conglomerates. Protecting the public is secondary to protecting the nations finances it seems. Regulation will allow the UK government to recover lost tobacco duty by taxing e-liquid.
Opponents to E-Cigarettes
The two markets that will be most affected by increased e-cigarette use are the smoking cessation and tobacco industries. A vaporizer gives a much more satisfying hit of nicotine than either patches or gum. The tobacco industry can’t really argue against e-cigarettes with health related arguments because their product is proven to kill people.
There are rumours within the industry that tobacco lobbyists are supporting the smoking cessation industries campaign against electronic devices.
Likely Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes
Introducing a tax on e-cigarettes and e-liquid would no doubt slow the rise in their popularity, keeping more smokers smoking and fewer taking the “healthier” option. Getting the level of duty right on e-liquid is going to be quite difficult for the government because if they try to charge too much, people will start to make their own, which is quite straightforward to do.
Once regulated, the official manufacturers will in all likelihood do everything they can to prevent people from making their own e-liquid. For many smokers, trying a cheaper cigarette is perfectly acceptable, irrespective of where it comes from. In the next few months we will discover what legislation will be past to regulate e-cigarettes. If e-liquid can’t be taxed successfully then in all likelihood the government will instead ban electronic cigarette devices.
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. The UK government will look to regulate electronic smoking devices before they start to cost the exchequer too much lost tobacco duty.
If they can’t see a way to tax e-liquid then in all probability the devices will be banned. As tobacco duty receipts fall, the treasury will look to plug the gap with regulation and taxation of the electronic devices that have replaced them.
The only way the government can control the loss of tobacco revenue will be to regulate electronic smoking devices.