Call For Cut On VAT For Vape Products To Help Smokers Quit

The LGA published their call on 8 March, to coincide with No Smoking Day.

The Local Government Association (LGA) called for a significant reduction on VAT for e-cigarette products, as a measure to help reduce smoking rates in England and Wales. The LGA published their call on 8 March, to coincide with No Smoking Day.

Stopping smoking regular tobacco-based cigarettes reduces the risk of developing serious and life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, emphysema, and bronchitis, and it also lowers the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Second hand cigarette smoke also threatens the health of those who can’t escape the vicinity of the smoker.

The government has already lowered VAT rates on nicotine gum and patches from 20% to 5%, and the LGA is calling for the same measures to be applied to e-cigarettes. Studies have proved that vaping products are more effective than patches or gum at helping people to quit smoking.

Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board said: “Cutting the VAT on the sale of e-cigarettes would be an important way to continue to encourage more people to quit smoking and would bring e-cigarettes in line with other cessation methods such as patches and gum.”

He added: “There is increasing evidence that e-cigarettes, along with other dedicated support, act as an important gateway to help people to stop smoking, which reduces serious illness and death as well as other pressures on health and care services.”

Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the UK, and much of it is smoking related. About 13% of the population, equating to 5.7 million people, are estimated to be regular smokers in the UK. Campaigners argue that cutting VAT on vaping materials will feed back into reduced healthcare costs and fewer sickness absences from work.

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