The Future for E-Cigarettes
Everyone knows the health risks associated with smoking and the increased risk of getting cancer. Contracting smoking related cancer in obviously much more likely if you smoke regularly. All over the world, the tobacco industry has significant political influence.
The Government, Politicians and Future Legislation
It would cost the UK government over £12 billion in lost tobacco duty annually if they succeed in getting all the smokers to quit. Alcohol is the only other harmful substance that also raises income for the government while harming its users. The safety of electronic cigarettes has been questioned recently in several news stories.
The government allow 100,000 people to die each year from tobacco related illness, because of the revenues that tobacco generates. Meanwhile they have introduced extensive health and safety legislation to protect our workforce from the 200 annual workplace fatalities that occur.
If everyone stopped smoking, the government would have to raise £12.1 billion from other taxes to balance its books. We can conclude that if there is enough profit involved, the government won’t necessarily protect us.
Electronic Cigarette Regulation
The lost tax revenue from smokers switching to electronic cigarettes will force the exchequer to look at the regulation and taxation of e-liquid. In time, with regulation, the large companies that dominate the chemicals industry will take over the market.
Protecting the public is secondary to protecting the nations finances it seems. The main reason for regulation of e-cigarettes will be to allow the government to effectively tax them and their use.
Competitors to electronic Cigarettes
Both the tobacco industry and the smoking cessation industry have the most to lose from the rising popularity of electronic cigarette devices. Patches and gum don’t really measure up to the satisfying nicotine hit that you get from a vaporizer.
The tobacco companies are looking to protect their market share and don’t want e-cigarettes to become even more popular however, it’s not easy for them to argue against electronic devices on health grounds. It is thought that some cigarette companies are quietly supporting the efforts of the smoking cessation industry to campaign against electronic cigarettes and their growing popularity.
Likely Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes
The government runs the risk of seeing its tobacco duty income fall if e-cigarettes continue to grow in popularity and one way or another they need to generate £12 billion a year from nicotine addicts. The danger for the government is that because it is quite easy to make e-liquid, it would also be quite straightforward for people to avoid paying duty on their e-juice.
Whether people will end up making their own e-liquids is sufficient numbers to affect the government’s finances remains to be seen. Lots of smokers are more than happy to try smoking a cheaper cigarette if it tastes OK. It is highly unlikely that e-cigarettes and vaporizers will escape regulation completely. The important thing for the government is to find a way to effective tax e-liquid.
If our politicians can’t see an effective means to tax e-cigarettes, it’s highly likely that they will be banned on spurious health grounds. Electronic cigarette devices are bound to be regulated in the next few years as this will enable the government to tax the e-liquid and replace their lost tobacco duty revenues. When tax lost from electronic cigarettes reaches the tipping point then it will become necessary for the treasury to act in order to protect its shrinking tobacco duty revenues.
It seems certain that in due course electronic smoking devices will be so popular that the government will feel obliged to regulate them and then tax their use.