The Future for Electronic Cigarettes
Cigarettes are proven to be carcinogenic and smokers know the health risks they are facing. Cigarette smokers expose themselves to the increased odds of dying from cancer. The worlds tobacco giants carry significant political influence.
Government Responsibility & Smoking
The UK government needs the cigarette duty, which in 2011-12 was a little over £12 billion. Pushing smokers to stop would be very costly for the country. Alcohol also harms its users while raising billions in duty for governments.
Recently, there have been news stories surrounding the safety of electronic cigarettes. In the UK, less than 200 people die each year in work related accidents, and yet we have extensive health and safety legislation to protect them, yet 100,000 people die annually from smoking related diseases but they are still legal.
The UK government needs the income raised from smokers. We can conclude that if there is enough profit involved, the government won’t necessarily protect us.
Electronic Cigarette Regulation
At some point as the revenue from tobacco duty falls, the government will look to regulate and tax e-liquid and vaporizers in order to replace the lost taxes.
When regulation of vaporizers happens, smaller retailers will be forced out of the industry by the giant chemical companies that dominate other sectors of the smoking cessation industry.
Whatever means smokers use to get their nicotine hit, the government will aim to tax in order to protect their revenues. It is purely going to be about taxation and gaining control of a new and lucrative market.
Opponents to E-Cigarettes
Increased e-cigarette usage will mainly affect both the tobacco and the smoking cessation markets. A vaporizer or e-cigarette will give you a satisfying hit on inhalation, unlike nicotine patches or gum.
The tobacco industry can’t really argue against e-cigarettes on a health basis because their product is proven to kill people. 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 needs to decide whether it wants the £12 billion in duty or a healthier nation, rather than continuing to try to achieve both at the same time. All the ingredients necessary to make e-liquid are readily available so anyone can easily make their own e-juice without having to buy regulated e-liquid that has duty on it.
It is likely that official suppliers will warn of the dangers of unauthorized supplies, in much the same way as we were warned about counterfeit cigarettes. During the heyday of cigarette smuggling most cigarettes were duty free “real” cigarettes rather than faked copies. Calling them fake allowed horror stories to be spread.
The more popular e-cigarettes become, the soon they will face regulation. For e-cigarettes to be viable for the government the e-liquid needs to be taxed, otherwise the exchequer will lose too much money.
Despite being a much safer alternative to smoking tobacco, it electronic devices can’t be properly taxed then governments around the world are more likely to ban then instead. It is very probable that electronic smoking devices will be regulated to some degree in the near future.
As more people start using e-cigarettes the government will lose more and more tobacco duty, necessitating the need for duty on e-liquid to compensate the treasury.
The regulation of electric smoking devices and the e-liquid that they use will have to happen at some point in time in the not to distant future.