UK Plans New Tax on E-Cigarettes: Cost of E-liquid to Increase by 1/4

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UK plans to introduce new taxes on e-cigarettes, with the cost of e-liquid expected to increase by at least a quarter.

According to a report by The Sunday Mirror on December 30, 2023, the UK is planning to impose a new tax on e-cigarettes. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, is expected to announce this plan during the Budget meeting on March 6. It is estimated that the cost of e-liquid will increase by at least a quarter.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has unveiled a plan to gradually raise the legal age for purchasing cigarettes and tobacco in the UK, currently set at 18. If this proposal is approved by lawmakers, individuals aged 14 or younger will be permanently barred from buying cigarettes.

The public consultation on addressing the issue of e-cigarette smoking among teenagers concluded earlier this month, suggesting measures such as restricting flavors and packaging to prevent their appeal to children. The government is considering a ban on disposable e-cigarettes that can be easily purchased with pocket money by children.

Currently, the price of a 10ml e-liquid bottle is approximately £4, and the British government is following the lead of other European countries, such as Germany and Italy, that have already imposed taxes on e-cigarettes.

In Germany, a tax of £1.40 is levied on each 10ml bottle of e-liquid, with plans to double it to £2.80 in 2026. Italy became the first country to impose a tax on e-liquid as early as 2014, with a tax of £1.10 per 10ml bottle.

The government has expressed its desire to encourage smokers to switch to e-cigarettes while preventing non-smokers, especially children, from starting to use e-cigarettes. Currently, the cost of smoking is three times higher than that of e-cigarettes. It is estimated that the average smoker in the UK can save approximately £670 per year by switching to e-cigarettes.

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