The e-cigarette association VdeH, drew attention to the fatal health and economic policy consequences of a radical taxation of e-cigarettes with an oversized projection in front of the Reichstag building on the evening of 21.04.2021. The association caused great interest among the parliamentarians, who personally watched the projection in front of the gates of the Reichstag.
The action is the planned on the background of the tobacco tax modernization law. According to the law, the price of liquids would increase by 10 euros, which corresponds to a tripling. This means that e-cigarettes, which are 95% less harmful, will soon be more expensive than conventional cigarettes and will develop from a exit-smoking product to a luxury product.
This is not only a disaster in terms of health policy. It is also likely that no significant additional tax revenue will be generated, but that jobs will be destroyed and a lucrative black market will be created.
In order to draw attention to this, impressive images of consumers and scientists were shown on a 120 m² screen. These were accompanied by descriptions from the association’s executive chairman Michal Dobrajc:
„With still 11 million smokers in Germany, the e-cigarette is the biggest health opportunity we have. We must take advantage of it. The planned huge taxation would have exactly the opposite effect,“ the chairman explained.
The e-cigarette helps many people quit smoking. Multiple scientific studies have also shown that it is significantly superior to other smoking cessation products. As a recent survey shows, it is now to be expected that consumption will shift back to the much more harmful tobacco cigarette as a result of the horrendous price increase.
Dobrajc disagreed with the argument that the planned tax serves to protect young people:
„An e-cigarette epidemic among young people does not correspond to reality. In fact, the data show that e-cigarettes are not very important among young people, and prevalence has been at a consistently low level for years.“
The overall consequences are serious, the chairman explains, „Every tax has a steering effect. But if this drives consumption back in the direction of the significantly more dangerous tobacco cigarette, something is going completely wrong. I can’t explain why scientific findings and the voices of consumers and the self-employed are being ignored in such a way. Making e-cigarettes unattractive through a tobacco tax is like taxing green electricity like gasoline all of a sudden.“
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