Budget 2024: Vape tax must be introduced now -Irish Heart Foundation

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The Irish Heart Foundation welcomed the Budget announcement of a new tax on e-cigarettes, along with a 75c increase in the price of a pack of cigarettes.

Director of Advocacy, Chris Macey, said the tax on vapes is a crucial measure to protect children’s health and reduce youth use of e-cigarettes – but insists it must be introduced now, rather than in next year’s Budget.

And while the 75c increase fell significantly below the charity’s call for a €2.10 increase, he said it represents an additional deterrent to discourage young people from starting to smoke.

“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 fuelled by the advent of disposable vapes,” said Mr Macey.

“We can’t afford to wait a moment longer than necessary to impose this tax.

“The Government knows the threat they pose to the future health of our children and that higher taxes could significantly reduce the number of child vapers because of their sensitivity to price increases.”

Last week, the heart charity called on the Minister to introduce a 10c per millilitre of e-liquid tax, which would have increased the cost of single-use vapes by €2.

“Ireland has been one of the slowest countries to react in Europe to the vaping menace – we are one of the last countries across the entire Continent where it is still legal to sell vapes to children,” said Mr Macey.

“And more than half of EU member States have already imposed additional taxes on e-cigarettes to protect children’s health.

“The current legislation to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s has been delayed for years – and we still don’t know when it will be enforced.

“There should be no unnecessary delay in the imposition of e-cigarette tax.”

It also welcomed plans to double the VAT Compensation Scheme, which enables charities to recoup a portion of their VAT spend from €5 million to €10 million.

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