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Ireland’s Finance Minister Announces Postponement of Nationwide Vaping Tax

By Oliver Smith 9th January 2024 2 Mins


After countless worrying months for the future of vaping in Ireland, has the pause on a potential tax giving vapers a small ounce of hope.

Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael McGrath has announced the postponement of a planned nationwide vaping tax.

The move comes after many advocates voiced concerns it would discourage current smokers from quitting with the use of e-cigarettes.

Officials from the Department of Finance (DOF) stated the need to strike a balance between discouraging the youth from vaping as well as supporting smokers who make the switch to vaping.

The DOF’s submission also expressed concerns over vapers switching to the black market if the tax was enacted.

When the potential bill was first announced, Chris Macey, Director of Advocacy at the Irish Heart Foundation welcomed the tax. He said:

“Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on the planet and there has been an explosion in youth use of e-cigarettes that has been further fuelled by the advent of disposable vapes.

“We can’t afford to wait a moment longer than necessary to impose this tax.”

In response, McGrath stated that introducing the new tax on vapes would have been ‘challenging’ to implement, after the country’s government intended to apply the levy on e-cigarettes as part of a public health response to vaping.

Talking about the difficulty of implementation, McGrath said:

“A domestic tax will require significant IT, administrative, control, and compliance costs.”

Implementation of the tax was postponed with no new date in sight, while the government also waits for an EU framework to ease its implementation.

However, according to media reports, health officials recommended ‘e-cigarettes be taxed differently based on their comparative harm versus traditional cigarettes’.

The update of the EU Tobacco Tax Directive is expected to include an EU-wide excise tax on vaping products. Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, commented:

“We welcome the decision of the Minister of Finance and ask the Irish Government to keep a tax differential between electronic and traditional cigarettes in the future large enough to incentivise smokers to switch.

“The risk profile of vaping products is much lower than that of combustion cigarettes and they should be taxed as such. ‘If the tax had been approved, it would have pushed tens of thousands of vapers back to smoking”.



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Oliver Smith