Why an e-liquid tax must be a red line for vaping supporters
Over the last few months there has been a significant push by state authorities in the US to introduce relatively small e-liquid taxes. The idea is that states would charge an additional small tax on each sale of e liquid bottles which would then go towards state budgets and to be more specific the cost of healthcare. On the surface this idea may seem sensible, it may seem fair that if you dig a little deeper you will see that governments and politicians have a history of greed. Is this a little unfair? Tobacco taxes We only need to look at the tobacco industry to see the monumental increase in tobacco taxes over the years. Indeed this culminated in the smoking ban in areas around the world once the authorities had seemingly milked the industry for as much as they could. Even today tobacco taxes continue to move higher and higher with cigarette smokers more specifically paying the price. This begs the question, were tobacco taxes always so high? The simple answer is no! E liquid tax must be a red line The vaping community has been fighting very hard for the future of the sector and so far, surprisingly for many people, the community is putting up a good fight. We only need to look at the regulatory situation in the US and the way in which the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is dragging its feet. The simple fact is that the regulators do not know which way to turn, are behind the development curve of the industry and feeling the wrath of the vaping community. If we now turn towards the proposed e-liquid tax in some US states, something which would eventually be replicated across Europe, we can now pick apart supporting strategies. If, as many states have indicated, the initial e liquid tax would be relatively small this is probably something that many can live with in the future. However, history shows us that governments and politicians become greedy, they become over dependent upon additional income streams and the consumer will most certainly pay the price. Laying the groundwork for the future The major battle at the moment, between supporters of the vaping community and the political elite, seems to be around the future foundations of the vaping industry. Supporters are looking to have electronic cigarettes treated separately from their tobacco counterparts while the authorities seem happy to "lump them together". There is obviously a benefit if they were treated as one particular product type because quite justifiably the authorities could charge tobacco taxes on e liquids. This is why the industry needs to get as much daylight as possible between the electronic cigarette industry and its tobacco counterpart! There is no doubt that the next few months will be vital for the vaping community and the vaping industry as a whole. We will see the introduction of regulations, we will see further fights on the taxation front but there do need to be red lines in the minds of those supporting the sector - which cannot be crossed by the authorities. It will be a battle royal, battles will be lost but hopefully the war will be won!