Future Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes is dangerous and all smokers are aware of the risks they take by smoking. Smokers have a much higher chance of dying from cancer than non-smokers. The tobacco industry has considerable political influence throughout the world.
The Government, Politicians and Future Legislation
It is ironic that the same government that tells us to stop smoking, raises over £12 billion annually in taxes on cigarettes. The only other substance that is harmful to its users while also raising billions in tax revenue is alcohol. There is a certain amount of negative press regarding e-cigarette devices.
Every year, 100,000 people die in the UK from smoking related illnesses, from which the government earns billions. At the same time, the government have introduced workplace health and safety laws to protect the 200 workers who die annually in work related accidents.
In 2011/12, the Governments tax revenue from tobacco was £12.1 Billion. Is it right that the government will only protect people if it is financially prudent to do so?
The Regulation of E-Cigarettes
As tax revenues fall as more and more smokers switch to electronic cigarettes, it will become necessary for the government to regulate and therefore be able to tax electronic cigarettes and e-liquid. Regulation will lead to the e-cigarette industry being taken over by the large conglomerates.
If the government regulates e-cigarettes, it will be to protect their finances rather than to protect the public. It is purely going to be about taxation and gaining control of a new and lucrative market.
Opponents to E-Cigarettes
Two industries will be affected by the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, the tobacco industry and the smoking cessation industry. While patches and gum deliver nicotine, they don’t give you the satisfying nicotine hit that you get from a vaporizer or electronic cigarette.
The tobacco industry can’t really argue against e-cigarettes on health grounds because their product is proven to kill people. There are people who believe that the tobacco industry is supporting the smoking cessation industry in their fight against electronic cigarettes.
Potential Regulation of E-Cigarettes
The Governments main concern it seems to me is in how it can effectively tax e-liquid in order to replace the lost tobacco income it currently receives. If duty is applied to e-liquid then people may well decide to save money by making their own, which is quite easy to do.
In the same way that tobacco companies warned people to beware of counterfeit cigarettes, the “official” manufacturers of e-liquid will no doubt look to protect the public from making their own e-juice. The governments attitude towards “counterfeit” cigarettes is “Don’t smoke these dangerous cigarettes that are cheap, smoke more expensive ones that will still kill you!”
The faster the use of e-cigarettes grows, the more likely they are to be regulated. For e-cigarettes to be viable for the government the e-liquid needs to be taxed, otherwise the exchequer will lose too much money.
If governments can’t successfully apply tax to e-liquid then in all probability they will choose to ban the devices regardless of the fact that they are less harmful that tobacco cigarettes. In the not too distant future electronic smoking devices will be regulated to one extent or another. Shrinking tobacco duty revenues will cause the government to act on regulation and taxation of electronic smoking devices and e-liquid.
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.