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Italian government threatened with court action again over new eliquid tax

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Only a few months ago the Italian government attempted to classify e-liquid and tobacco as identical products with regards to taxation levies. The proposed 58.5% tax increase on electronic cigarettes had a profound impact upon the Italian electronic cigarette market with shops closing, businesses going bankrupt and electronic cigarette users left in limbo. Eventually the proposed tax increase was overturned in the High Court and deemed to be "illegal" although by that time much of the damage to the reputation of the electronic cigarette industry had already been done. Now the Italian authorities have introduced a new taxation draft which would see the price of a bottle of 10 mL eliquid retail for €35. The proposed increase from €6 up to €35 again pits the Italian authorities against electronic cigarette manufacturers and retailers across the country. While the Italian government is most certainly out of sync with all other European authorities, with nobody else looking to introduce an electronic cigarette tax, the Italian electronic cigarette industry has attempted to find some middle ground and avoid court action. Initially manufacturers and vendors proposed a fixed tax on electronic cigarettes which would be paid at source, minimising the impact upon the end user, although this was very quickly rejected. They were even willing to reorganise the whole marketplace by introducing specialised tobacco shops but this was also rejected by the authorities. As the Italian government continues what many see as a vendetta against the electronic cigarette industry the only sensible conclusion is yet more court action by the industry. It is common knowledge that the Italian economy is struggling, the Italian government is struggling to balance its books and in many ways an electronic cigarette tax is a financial convenience. However, comparing e-liquid to tobacco and deeming them to be "identical" has no scientific support and many believe that the government will yet again lose in the High Court. Unfortunately, by the time the court action comes to fruition there will be yet more damage to the industry and investors, both in Italy and overseas, and ultimately it will be tobacco cigarette smokers looking to reduce their tobacco intake who will suffer most. Blog post brought to you by OK ecigs: Ok - E-cigarettes