tiistai 19. heinäkuuta 2016

E-liquid taxing scheme proposal doing the rounds in Finland

There are a few common constants in the way the Finnish government treats vaping products.

The primary one is that they release a legislation draft, and all the communication around the details in public are made with certainty. This is what we'll do and this is what will happen. No ambiguity whatsoever. Then various organizations and special interest groups make their statements, including whatever arguments and (occasionally, but mostly no) data they deem relevant to the issue.
More often than not, these statements include several points where the law could be stricter.

Committees hear out the statements, and then go on to change more or less nothing.
Makes you feel like the commenting process is just for show.

The other one is that most of the justifications so far have been disjointed to some degree. A lot of jumping to conclusions happens around issues where no substantial evidence exists, making assumptions about the impact of certain things without considering if such events are even plausible.

This time though, the tax law proposal manages to first make a rational assessment about the impact of a sin tax on e-liquids and instantly ignore it's implications completely:

"It can be assumed, that if e-liquids are not taxed, their consumption as a substitute for conventional cigarettes would decrease the consumption of products currently subject to tobacco tax" aka smoking, since all other forms are illegal.

And then they go on to claim this:

"The decrease om consumption of electronic cigarettes due to the implementation of the tax can be estimated to have a positive impact on public health. The positive impact is assumed to be associated with the prevention of uptake of electronic cigarettes, which would prevent the development of nicotine addiction"

No citations of any kind included. No consideration of the fact that the vast majority of vapers are current or former smokers. They also claim there's no tax on electronic cigarettes, which is blatantly false since VAT applies like everything else.
Like I said, disjointed. Very much so.

The Finnish goverment is proposing a tax of 30c per ml, or 3 euros per 10ml bottle. The proposal calculates that the cheapest liquids would double in price with the implementation of this tax. And they want to apply it to both nicotine liquids and nicotine free liquids, based on the idea that this way nobody needs to test if the liquids have nicotine in them or not. Though there's some more gaps in that logic, since every single liquid has to go through the notification process anyway with mandatory testing of the nicotine content and exposure and has to have nicotine volume marked on it..

They do note that the tax would likely increase overseas sales of nicotine free liquids, since they are not subject to distance sales restrictions like nicotine liquids are. I'd estimate that the future liquid market for knowledgeable vapers will develop something like this: People will order large amounts of nicotine free liquids overseas, since it's likely to be around 50-60% cheaper and non-tobacco flavored liquids are illegal here, possibly smuggle high strength nicotine and mix their own. The rest will buy home mixed liquids from other people in dedicated facebook groups.

Current smokers and very new vapers, as in the people who are not part of online communities though?
Basically people will either be ignoring the law or be hurt by it. It will cause unnecessary and arbitrary criminality and death.

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti