Taxing e‐cigs would be a mistake in the fight against smoking

 
Frédéric Sautet, September 2015
 
Following a series of volume decreases in sales of traditional cigarettes in France, sales appear to be stabilizing in 2015. Even if this change in trend is confirmed (something far from certain), the decline in smoking in recent years has shown just how dependent governments (including France’s) have been on tax revenues from tobacco use. Giancarlo Scottà, a Member of the European Parliament, asked in 2013 what would replace tax revenues from tobacco. This parliamentarian’s concern was motivated entirely by the loss of tax revenue rather than by reasons of public health. Moreover, with this being a “tax hole” dug by electronic cigarettes (e‐cigs), it would make sense to call upon e‐cigs to help fill it, he said.
 
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