Big Win! Why Vapers In This Country Will Soon Be Paying A Lot Less
Legislators in Italy recently decided to significantly reduce the current tax on e-liquids by as much as 90%
It’s easy to forget with all the growth and progress, but vaping is still a relatively new phenomenon. After all, ten years ago most people had never heard of an e-cigarette. As such, it’s no surprise that there have been quite a few different reactions in regards to how to best regulate them over the last decade. It’s been very common for lawmakers to adjust their taxes and restrictions on where and by whom vapes can be used as new research is generated. Unfortunately, not all countries have necessarily been moving in the same direction.
So while places such as the UK have worked to further legitimize vaping, many others have only tightened restrictions on vaping as e-cigarettes become more prevalent. One nation where restrictions have traditionally been quite strong, but are now loosening is Italy. In fact, their government recently decided to significantly reduce the taxes paid on all nicotine and nicotine free e-liquids sold across the country. Advocates hope this move could open the floodgates for the vaping industry, which has struggled to gain traction in Italy.
The Updated Tax
The initial vote was held and passed by a coalition of Italy’s League and Five Stars parties, which now means the amendment to change the tax moves to the Senate Finance Committee who are expected to pass the measure. The reduction in tax, which would see the charge on bottles of e-liquid drop from around 40 cents per ml, to only between 4 and 8 cents depending on the presence of nicotine. One of the primary reasons for this shift in policy seems to be the massive losses the Italian vaping industry has been taking as vapers opt to get their supplies from other European nations. In fact, according to a parliamentary group, vaping taxes were estimated to generate around 85 million euros in 2016, but ultimately only made approximately five.
This policy change is also applicable to online sales, just as long as the manufacturer is registered with Italy’s version of customs, known as a tax warehouse. However, these companies must now also comply with the controversial European Tobacco Directive, which most famously limits the amount of nicotine sold in e-liquids. Failing to follow these new rules would come with a 150 thousand euro fine for retailers. In addition to that, they’ll have their AAMS authorization revoked, which is required to legally market vaping products.
The Evidence For Vaping
It’s a real shame that vaping is still under such scrutiny in so much of the world. Research has been indicating for years now that they’re one of the best harm reduction and smoking cessation tools we have at our disposal. For starters, we’ve known since 2015 thanks to Public Health England that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, which destroyed any notion vaping is just as dangerous as smoking. Then last fall, researchers concluded that the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is about 57,000 times lower than a smoker from a similar background. These studies all but prove given a choice between vaping and smoking, vaping is safer every time.
As if that wasn’t enough to justify their value, studies have also shown that vaping is one of, if not the best, smoking cessation tools we have at our disposal. Researchers from the University of Louisville tested all of the most common smoking cessation methods and aids, ranging from classic cold turkey, all the way through prescription drugs. After analyzing all of the evidence, it was clear that vaping has a better chance to help smokers quit for good than even the most advanced drugs. However, despite all of this fantastic evidence polls still show that only around 13% of adults understand that vaping is much safer than smoking. What’s even worse is that over 26% think that vaping is just as, if not more dangerous. It’s clear that this perception problem is still one of the most substantial hurdles facing the vaping industry.
The biggest take away from Italy’s updated vaping policy is that things do appear to be moving in the right direction. Even if the fight will never be easy, it is becoming harder to deny that vaping offers some genuine and essential benefits to society. If more nations who have traditionally had strong regulation on vaping see this as motivation to reevaluate laws, this moment could prove to be a massive win for the vaping industry across the globe. But regardless, this is an important win for any former smokers in Italy who have successfully ended their dependence on tobacco thanks to e-cigarettes. For them, this new tax means extra dollars in their pocket, and a much easier time getting their supplies.
Do you think this tax reduction is a big deal? Are you surprised at how few people seem to understand the benefits of vaping? What’s the best way spread positive information about vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.