It's a debate that has been raging for months now and the ax could soon fall for vapers. Indeed, the European Council recently approved an amendment to the 2011 directive which will not only increase the price of tobacco but also related products such as vaping products. These new rules seem to express more the desire to increase tax revenue than a concern for public health.
With our colleagues from the gallery, Bill wirtz, a public policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center provides insight into the current situation. In its June conclusions, the European Council approved a new consensus on excise duties on tobacco. Member States suggest rule changes that would increase the price of tobacco and also affect non-tobacco products such as vaping products.
Now that the 2011 directive has failed to deliver the benefits some member states hoped for, or, more likely, has not produced the amount of tax revenue member states need in the current economic situation, they would like a review . This revision, however, does not apply only to conventional tobacco products such as cigarettes, snuff, shisha, or cigars and cigarillos. For the first time, the European Council calls for products other than tobacco to also be included in the Tobacco Excise Directive.
According to all available logic, states should welcome the prevalence of alternatives such as vaping or heated tobacco, yet the European Council concludes " whereas it is therefore urgent and necessary to modernize the EU regulatory framework, in order to meet current and future challenges as regards the functioning of the internal market by harmonizing the definitions and the tax treatment of new products« .