If electronic cigarettes do not include tobacco, then why are they included in both the EU Tobacco Excise Directive, and the Tobacco Products Directive? That is the question on the minds of many people, especially those with a vested interest in vaping as a smoking cessation device.
In simple terms, there is a link between traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes as far as nicotine addiction is concerned – but to place them in the same tax category in terms of continent-wide policies, considering they actually contain no tobacco, is leaving prominent pro-vaping campaigners mystified.
Luckily, there are enough campaigners of sound mind who feel they have a chance at making themselves heard by the EU with the help of the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA)– a charity created to take a positive approach to risk-reduced nicotine products and to dispel the misunderstandings by those less educated about their benefits.
A staunch opponent of the Tobacco Products Directive and the Tobacco Excise Directive, activist Clive Bates has been campaigning on behalf of vapers everywhere to ensure that electronic cessation devices are easily accessible for those who wish to stop smoking traditional cigarettes forever.
Logical support for vaping
In response to the EU Commission’s consultation on behalf of the Taxation and Customs Union regarding the categorisation of e-cigarettes as ‘other tobacco products’, Bates, along with the NNA, has published a commentary on the calamitous consequences of an increase in tax on vaping products stating the following:
– An increase in tax on vaping products would more than likely push people towards traditional cigarettes, conflicting greatly with the EU’s stance of improving the health of the population within which 700,000 smokers die every year.
– The many of the authorities making these laws have a woefully inept knowledge on how e-cigarettes work, and how they compare to traditional cigarettes in terms of health benefits – with a focus on the distinction between combustible and non-combustible products.
– That there is evidence that these planned policies will protect and help to promote combustible tobacco products – ultimately helping companies who benefit directly from the negative health conditions associated with smoking.
– That ultimately, when a product such as an e-cig is found to be between 90-100% healthier than the equivalent traditional cigarettes, the EU should be offering incentives as opposed to obstacles to help smokers make the switch, thereby limiting the amount of public spending on medical treatments.
– That e-cigarettes should be given the same tax-breaks given to other NRT products such as gum, patches and inhalers – especially given their better performance as a cessation device.
For many campaigners, the mere fact that policies regarding vaping and public health improvement are made by those in positions of power – who have an inconsequential level of comprehension concerning the dangers of traditional cigarettes versus electronic cigarettes – is nothing short of insanity, leaving many to wonder if the implementation of these policies come from either a position of ignorance, or as a result of the lobbying pressure by those who stand to personally benefit by their enactment.