• April 2, 2020

Reducing risk reduction

A smokers’ lobby group has criticised the UK government’s plan, revealed yesterday, to introduce an excise tax on heated tobacco products.

According to the government, the duty on these products will be based on the weight of tobacco in the product.

“Heated tobacco may not be as safe as electronic cigarettes but current evidence suggests there is almost certain to be a reduction in risk for cigarette smokers,” said Simon Clark (pictured), director of Forest [Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco].

“Why would any government want to undermine the future of a product that may encourage smokers to quit voluntary and without coercion?”generic - taxation

Clark pointed out that many smokers who tried electronic-cigarettes found they didn’t like them. The attraction of heated tobacco was that it filled the gap between combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes, which don’t contain tobacco.

“Heated tobacco products are still in their infancy,” he said. “Adding excise duty will almost certainly deter many smokers from switching to a potentially safer device.”