Plans for vaping ‘sin tax’ under challenge

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Suggestions that the government is planning a new ‘sin tax’ on vaping, in order to raise an additional £40m in tax revenue to help fund its commitment to a £20bn boost in NHS funding, have been strongly opposed by the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) on the grounds the move risks damaging public health.

A UKVIA spokesman said: ‘Imposing a “sin tax” on vaping is counterintuitive to the government’s mission to reduce smokers in the UK and lessen the burden for the NHS.

The UKVIA has now written to the Treasury highlighting its concerns. It says the pressure group Action on Smoking and Health has found that, of the nearly three million vapers in the UK, over half have given up smoking, and that 97% of vapers are either smokers or ex-smokers. According to NHS England, smoking costs the NHS £2.5bn a year, with a wider cost to society of £14.7bn annually.

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