• April 16, 2024

Ireland Announces Vape Tax, Raises Cigarette Costs

 Ireland Announces Vape Tax, Raises Cigarette Costs

Image: Vitalii

Ireland increased the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes by €0.75 ($0.80) and announced a new tax on vaping products for next year, reports The Irish Times. Other tobacco products will be subject to a pro-rate increase.

The move “supports public health policy to reduce smoking levels in Irish society,” according to Finance Minister Michael McGrath.

“In light of public health interests, continuing delays to the revision of the Tobacco Products Tax Directive and the Program for government commitment to tax e-cigarettes and vaping products, I am proposing to introduce a domestic tax on these products [e-cigarettes and vaping products] in next year’s budget,” said McGrath.

“Considerable preparatory work” by the Department of Finance and Revenue will be necessary to draft the underpinning legislation, he said.

“Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and there has been an explosion in youth use of e-cigarettes that has been further fueled by the advent of disposable vapes,” said Chris Macey, director of advocacy with the Irish Heart Foundation. “We can’t afford to wait a moment longer than necessary to impose this tax.”

The Irish Heart Foundation called on the finance minister last week to introduce a €0.10 per milliliter tax on e-liquid.

Smokers’ rights group warned against unintended consequences. “Annual tax hikes on tobacco are punishing consumers for enjoying a perfectly legitimate habit,” said John Mallon, spokesperson for Forest Ireland. “Not only does it discriminate against consumers on lower incomes, [but] it will drive even more smokers to the black market.” Mallon said smokers “don’t deserve” the excise increase.

“Legitimate retailers will lose business to criminal gangs, and smokers who stay within the law will be further punished compared to those who, understandably, buy their tobacco from illicit traders,” he said.