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UK Tax on Vaping Products Could Double the Price of E-Liquids By 2026

By Grace Lynk 16th May 2024 3 Mins


Chancellor Jeremy Hunt of the Conservative Party has confirmed that the new Spring Budget for the United Kingdom will impose a higher tax on vaping products as of October 2026. 

Vaping products are currently only subjected to VAT in the UK, but under the new reported plans will be given a dedicated ‘products levy’ similar to that of combustible tobacco. 

This levy would be subsidised on imports and by manufacturers, which according to media reports is an attempt to ensure children can no longer buy vapes for pocket-money prices. 

Applying more specifically to vape liquids, taxation will be based on nicotine content, with the system imposing charges from £1 to £3 per 10ml, on top of the current 20 percent VAT. 

There are fifteen other countries in Europe currently operating similar schemes, and with the EU planning to introduce a standardised bloc-wide levy, this change was anticipated by many advocates in the UK.

Regarding cigarettes, the government will also implement an increase on tobacco duty in an effort to ensure that vaping remains the cheaper alternative across the country. 

The announcement from Jeremy Hunt reads as such:

“To discourage non-smokers from taking up vaping, we’re today confirming the introduction of an excise duty on vaping products, and publishing a consultation on its design.”

“Because vapes can also play a positive role in helping people quit smoking, we’ll introduce a one off increase in tobacco duty at the same time to maintain the financial incentive to choose vaping over smoking.” 

The concurrent increase in tobacco duty is, according to the government, a structured approach to both regulate the vaping market and promote healthier alternatives to smoking. 

In a YouTube clip from the announcement, vaping advocates flocked to the comments to voice their qualms about the new tax, with many denying that the decision has anything to do with public health.

One person commented:

“I thought they justified the extortionate price on tobacco because of the health risks and potential increased cost to the NHS. How are they justifying this other than profiting from addiction?” 

Another user said:

“So they accused Labour of overtaxing the people to oblivion, then the Tories decide to increase the costs to smoke tobacco and increase the cost to quit.” 

Citi analysts who have reviewed the report have stated that alongside the ban on disposable vapes in the UK, the regulatory rewards are angling towards BAT and other tobacco companies. 

Concerns regarding profit for big tobacco and the government are not too far-fetched, as the tax on both vaping and smoking products combined is estimated to reach over £500 million per annum by 2028. 

With smoking rates decreasing in the UK, one user summarised:

“Of course they’re taxing e-cigarettes. They’re losing tax on tobacco because fewer people are smoking. They’ve got to get their salaries somewhere.” 

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Topics: Issue 50, Recommended


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Grace Lynk