Smoking And The Law

Alternative Sources of Nicotine

Smokers all know the risks they take when they smoke. Cigarette smokers expose themselves to the increased odds of dying from cancer. The power and influence of the large Tobacco companies is well documented.

Smoking and the Law

It would cost the UK government over £12 billion in lost tobacco duty annually if they succeed in getting all the smokers to quit. The government also raise billions annually from alcohol which is similarly harmful. There has been some negative press surrounding electronic cigarettes and vaporizers.

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.

The £12.1 billion raised from tobacco duty would have to be found elsewhere if all smokers quit tomorrow. Is it right that the government will only protect people if it is financially prudent to do so?

The Regulation of E-Cigarettes

The lost tax revenue from smokers switching to electronic cigarettes will force the exchequer to look at the regulation and taxation of e-liquid. Regulation will lead to the industry being dominated by the same companies that already control much of the smoking cessation industry. Will regulation be for the benefit of smokers? It is going to become necessary for the UK government to regulate e-cigarettes in order to tax their use and recover lost tobacco duty revenues.

Opponents to Electronic Cigarettes

Increased e-cigarette usage will mainly affect both the tobacco and the smoking cessation markets. Nicotine replacement products like patches and gum don’t replace the satisfying inhalation hit that a vaporizer will give you.

The tobacco industry can’t really argue against e-cigarettes on health grounds because their product is proven to kill people. It is believed in some quarters that the tobacco companies are quietly supporting the smoking cessation industries campaign against e-cigarettes.

Potential Government Legislation

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. If the government apply too much duty to e-liquid then they will push people towards making their own e-liquid which is quite easy to do.

If the level of duty on e-liquid is too high then people will start to produce their own from easily sourced high street ingredients. Smokers in general are prepared to try cheaper cigarettes, regardless of their source and whether they are “legitimate” or not. The more popular e-cigarettes become, the soon they will face regulation. If the government can’t find a practical way to tax e-liquid then it will have to ban e-cigarettes to preserve its tobacco duty revenues.

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. E-cigs and vaperisers look likely to be regulated by governments worldwide in the next few years especially if they continue to grow in popularity. If enough smokers switch to electronic devices, the government will lose too much tobacco duty making legislation inevitable.

It is logical to conclude that in the near future the government will be forced by the growing popularity of electronic cigarette devices to regulate them so that they can be taxed.