According to a report by The Guardian on November 7th, King Charles III of the United Kingdom mentioned in a speech that the British government plans to impose stricter restrictions on e-cigarettes and may consider taxing them in order to create a “smoke-free generation.
In fact, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made similar remarks a month ago as well.
The King’s speech outlined the government’s priorities for the upcoming year and announced plans to propose legislation to tighten regulations once consultations are completed.
The measures being considered by the king include:
E-cigarette descriptions to be restricted; limited flavors to tobacco alone or tobacco and mint; ban on displaying e-cigarettes in stores like traditional cigarettes; introduction of plain packaging, no more use of cartoon and animal images; prohibition on disposable e-cigarettes.
In addition, the speech proposed the introduction of a new e-cigarette tax in the national value-added tax. Currently, about 40 countries have already implemented this measure. It is reported that e-cigarettes are currently priced lower compared to traditional cigarettes, and the e-cigarette tax will increase the retail price of e-cigarettes.
According to The Guardian, the tax rate imposed on e-cigarettes will be lower than that for traditional cigarettes. Additionally, the Tobacco and E-cigarette Bill will ensure that individuals aged 14 and below will never be able to legally purchase cigarettes in the United Kingdom.
According to the UK government, smoking by the public causes an annual loss of £17 billion to the UK, including £14 billion in lost productivity and £3 billion on the NHS and healthcare system. This significantly outweighs the £10 billion in tobacco product tax revenue.