The proposal to tax vape liquid is a ‘deeply cynical cash grab’ from the chancellor, a think tank has said.

In his budget speech on Wednesday, chancellor Jeremy Hunt has confirmed the introduction of an excise dutyon liquids used in vaping products from October 2026.

“Forget sin taxes, this is a saint tax. Vapers did what the government wanted and gave up smoking. They are now being punished for it,” Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the free market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs, said.

Terming the proposal ‘scientifically and economically illiterate’, Snowdon said the government seems to be intent on keeping people smoking, combined with the ban on disposable vapes.

“Not only will the tax close the price gap between vapes and cigarettes, it will send a message to the public that the health risks are similar. Since most people in Britain already wrongly believe that vaping is at least as dangerous as smoking, the government’s reckless greed will cost lives. As a former health minister, Mr Hunt should be ashamed,” Snowdon said.

Responding to the budget speech, the Consumer Choice Center (CCC) said the “unjustified” introduction of a vape tax and increasing tobacco levy will harm consumers by raising prices.

“The vape tax will not raise a substantial amount for the Treasury and will hurt many smokers who are trying to quit, as well as creating a divide between rich and poor smokers,” Mike Salem, the UK country associate at the CCC, said.

Read the full text here



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