Tobacco taxes are also a big supply of revenue in the EU, with the sin tax bringing in around 70 billion euros in 2015. Based upon this document, we estimate it’s now closer to 80 billion. Contrary to the united states, tobacco tax revenues have remained relatively steady despite declining numbers of smokers. But that’s as a result of huge tax increases rather than steady sales. In 2008 Europe brought in 101.42 Euros per 1000 cigarettes sold – by 2015 it was 152.44. (Source: World Bank.)
It’s challenging to get accurate figures of the quantity of Best Electronic Cigarette Reviews for the entire of Europe, but Reason.com estimates that by 2016 6 million vapers had used e cigarettes to avoid smoking, while another 9 million had used vaping to cut back. More recently, Japan Tobacco International estimated there were approximately 40 million vapers on the planet, with all the possibility to grow to around 110 million by 2025. With Europe having around 30% in the total, that could equate to around 12 million vapers currently.
That’s still small when compared to the number of smokers within the EU. The population in the EU is around 512 million, and Europe estimates that around 26% from the population still smoke. That’s an enormous 133 million people, who on average, according to the EU, will experience the average lack of life of 14 years.
Given that vapers are equal to around 9% of the total variety of smokers, we could roughly estimate the decline in tobacco revenue to become around 7.2 billion euros, with disclaimers as before (the inability to account for dual vapers, for those who have quit both smoking and vaping and the reality that there are many vapers in countries with higher taxes on cigarettes.)
A brief mention here of healthcare. Health care is usually very good within the EU, so of course governments to need to fork out for the price of smoking diseases. But these are generally cheaper to treat than aging diseases (cancer of the lung is a much faster killer than dementia). Smoking diseases also strike many smokers around about pensionable age, saving governments many billions in pension payments.
Needless to say, we can’t determine these concerns influence the EU. But we could examine just what the EU did and said. So long ago as 2013, MEPs were raising concerns about electronic cigarettes. Here’s what one MEP asked: “The intake of traditional cigarettes offers the Member States with sizeable revenues, as a result of the substantial taxes to which they may be subject… can the Council state what action it intends to choose to use address the variations in tax revenue materialising in State coffers following the proliferation of e-cigarettes, which currently appear to be clear of any type of duty?”
The EU commission proceeded to attempt to medicalise e-cigarettes (a highly effective ban, as at the time there were no e-cigarettes with medical authorisation). Due in part to vigorous campaigning by vapers, this result in the messy compromise this is the Tobacco Products Directive. Vaping has been restricted, but remains legal.
The EU has additionally held consultations on implementing vape specific taxes. I attended one of the consultations in London, as well as the EU representative actually posited tax as being a positive factor for the vaping industry – on the basis which a standard EU vape tax can be quite a lot a lot better than draconian taxes imposed by individual countries. An alternative stance is recorded in EU documents, where they seem to estimate that by harmonising duties on e-cigs, tobacco tax losses could be limited to 2.5% of total tax revenue. (Source: EU Commission Report).
Up to now these initial attempts have been thwarted. But that may not really become the case, and many in the business think it’s only a matter of time before a vape tax is implemented. It doesn’t help that in the EU there mwrnff 24 organisations pushing for tighter vape regulations.
Wonder where their funding is coming to fund lobbying the EU? According to International Vaping, in 2016 over 500 million euros from it came from the EU. So essentially, the EU is paying anti-vape organisations to lobby itself for tighter rules on vaping.