BAT Chief Supports New Tax on Vaping Products in the UK

The chief executive of British American Tobacco (BAT), the world’s second-largest tobacco company, has said that he welcomes the new tax on vaping products that the UK government is planning to introduce in the spring budget. He said that the tax would help to regulate the vaping market and to encourage smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives.

The new tax on vaping products, also known as the vaping levy, is part of the UK government’s strategy to create a smoke-free generation by 2030. The government aims to reduce the smoking prevalence in England to below 5% by then, from the current 13.9%.

The tax is expected to raise about £300m a year, which will be used to fund the National Health Service (NHS) and other public health initiatives. The tax will apply to all vaping products, such as e-cigarettes, e-liquids, and pods, regardless of their nicotine content or flavour.

The government argues that the tax will help to deter young people and non-smokers from taking up vaping, and to incentivise existing vapers to quit or to use less harmful products, such as nicotine patches or gums. The government also claims that the tax will reflect the environmental and social costs of vaping, such as littering and fire risks.

The Reaction from the Vaping Industry and the Public Health Experts

The vaping industry and some public health experts have criticised the new tax, saying that it will undermine the efforts to reduce smoking and to improve public health. They say that the tax will make vaping products more expensive and less accessible, and that it will discourage smokers from switching to vaping, which is estimated to be 95% less harmful than smoking.

They also argue that the tax will harm the vaping industry, which employs about 15,000 people in the UK and contributes about £2bn to the economy. They say that the tax will favour the big tobacco companies, which have more resources and market share, and that it will hurt the small and independent vape shops, which offer more personalised and tailored services to customers.

They also point out that the tax will contradict the UK’s position as a global leader in tobacco harm reduction, and that it will ignore the evidence and the advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other reputable bodies, which recommend vaping as a safer alternative to smoking.

The Response from the BAT Chief and the Tobacco Industry

The BAT chief, Tadeu Marroco, has said that he supports the new tax on vaping products, and that he has learned to love regulation in his industry. He said that the tax would help to create a level playing field and to eliminate the unregulated and illicit products from the market.

He also said that the tax would benefit BAT, which is the largest vaping company in the UK, with a 40% market share. He said that BAT has a competitive advantage in the vaping market, as it offers a range of products, such as Vype, Vuse, and Glo, that cater to different consumer preferences and needs.

He also said that BAT is committed to transforming its business and to delivering a smoke-free future. He said that BAT aims to have 50 million consumers of its non-combustible products by 2030, up from the current 14.6 million. He said that BAT invests about £1bn a year in research and development of its reduced-risk products, and that it works closely with the regulators and the stakeholders to ensure the safety and the quality of its products.

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