Saturday, 9 February 2013

Wanting an e-cig ban: is it tax revenue, ignorance or stupidity?


Here's a reference to a literature review in the journal, Addiction, on the subject of e-cigs:

...“removing e-cigarettes from the market or discouraging their use could harm public health by depriving smokers of a potentially important option for smoking cessation.” It would “seem misguided,” the authors argue, “to ask people to discontinue an approach that is working in favour of an approach that has already been ineffective for them.”

Yet Canada bans e-cigs and the EU intends to (unless we can stop them). Why is this? Some suggest:
By dismissing this technology outright, the anti-smoking crowd is showing their true colours. Their actions show a deep-seated antipathy toward smokers and anything that resembles a cigarette, rather than a concern for overall public health.

It is the smoker who is bad not the cigarette. And there's some truth in this argument - the success of 'denormalisation' has been to turn smokers into evil pariahs. But is there also an argument that support for the ban is driven by ignorance and stupidity (things that are well represented in public health circles).

Plus there's this - the UK government generated £12.1 billion in duty and VAT from smokers last year. Imagine if, say, the smoking rate dropped from it current rate of about one in five adults to the rate in Sweden (about one in seven adults). That would see some £3 billion less revenue for the government - revenue they'd have to make up in other taxes or cuts to services.


1 comment:

Melissa Welsh said...

But I don’t think electronic cigarettes may occur harmful effects, because it is smokeless and even I am using.