Positive signs for UK Vapers
Just a few days ago the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced a wide-ranging update of the UK inflation monitoring system. While these changes happen at regular intervals this change could be a significant period in the life and times of the vaping community. Electronic cigarettes are now part of the "general consumer basket" of goods which are used to monitor inflation across the UK. So, has the vaping industry finally come of age? What does this mean? In simple terms the ONS has recognised that electronic cigarettes are now part of the UK consumer market. The fact that the cost of electronic cigarettes will be a factor in calculating inflation across the country perfectly reflects the growing popularity of these devices. This is perhaps the first official authority to formally recognise electronic cigarettes although in reality the ONS has no power with regards to regulations, etc. At this moment in time the vaping industry is fighting a very expensive advertising battle against the tobacco companies. The introduction of electronic cigarettes to the UK inflation figure was headline news across the media and gave the industry much-needed free publicity. What does the future hold? Despite the fact that some US states are looking to introduce specific e-liquid taxes there is no sign that any local authorities or even the UK government is considering such a move at this moment in time. This may change in the future but supporters believe that ongoing medical trials will highlight the benefits of electronic cigarettes compared to their tobacco counterparts. In theory this should make it extremely difficult for the UK authorities to even consider the introduction of a vaping tax in the short to medium term. A number of factors are now coming together to perfectly illustrate the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes. We have the inclusion of ecigs in the inflation figure, a reduction in NHS quit smoking services due to the popularity of vaping as well as encouraging medical trials looking at long-term health implications. While there is still a long way to go, the industry today looks stronger than it ever has and certainly up for the battles ahead. Will taxation become a reality at some point? The potential introduction of vaping taxes is the million dollar question on the lips of both critics and supporters of the industry. Governments around the world, as well as local authorities, are growing ever more concerned at their reducing tobacco tax income. If we take a step back and look at the situation with neither a positive or negative bias it is difficult to justify any tax on vaping products. This will not stop the authorities from looking to tie them to tobacco products which in itself would make it easier to justify taxing them in the future. On a more positive note, the fact that the authorities have yet to even discuss a potential vaping tax would indicate that they feel it would be difficult to push through at this moment in time. If, as many experts expect, future medical trial data for electronic cigarettes is more positive than first thought then this can only help the industry.