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Electric cigarette and politics

12-13-2013, by
Parliament

Since a few years, the electronic cigarette is booming heavily. The reason for this can be found in the fact that it is a cheap and healthier alternative to the regular cigarettes. Unfortunately, the e-cig can't count on a warm welcome from governments. Although almost all experts agree that it is a healthier alternative of smoking, it is also a nightmare for the treasury.

Taxes are definitely needed to finance the power of the ruling parties. We continue to pay them because most good citizens believe in what the state prescribes them. Our governments create an easy platform for all charges by taxing all the so-called 'bad' habits of citizens.

The tobacco excise

Every year, the governments earns billion of dollars or euros by the nicotine addiction of its citizens. Excise duties are even increased annually to supposedly protect people against the harmful effects of tobacco smoking.

Beside high taxes, the government is trying to let us reduce smoking by banning it in public places, by warning the smokers for scary diseases and showing confrontational pictures on the packaging.

If our health would be so important for the government, then in that case they should be delighted of the existence of a less harmful alternative for the traditional unhealthy cigarette. Yes, our government would ban traditional smoking and support electronic smoking instead.

Besides, all the anti-smoking campaigns have only a limited effect. It's known that nicotine addicts nevertheless continue to smoke. In advance studies examined the effect all the measures on the number of smokers and their consumption. This should not decrease too much because the money should continue to flow.

Did you know that the treasury in Indonesia is filled for 90% filled by tobacco taxes? There, it is even so bad that the government blatantly is calling everyone to start smoking. And especially to smoke more.

You understand immediately that the finance minister is less happy with the arrival of the e-cigarette. The ecig is a treasury killer. There is no option, the ecigarette has to be stopped.

Nicotine as a drug

To protect the treasury against a potential disaster, the government has a few options:

  • Make the tax on nicotine cartridges evenly as to tobacco products.

    This may seem obvious, but it proofs that tobacco taxes are not designed to protect our health, but purely to protect the public purse. So bad plan.

  • Qualify the nicotine cartridge as illegal drug.

    This isn't a good idea as well because then they need to prohibit all nicotine products. So, even regular cigarettes can't be sold anymore. An even much worse plan.

  • Classify the nicotine in the cartridge as a drug.

    Excellent plan!

More and more countries (like Netherlands and Belgium) have classified cartridges with nicotine as medicinal agent. Again, cartridges with nicotine as a medicament. Can it even get more ridiculous? Yet, it is the only way for the government to sabotage the e-cigarette.

When a new drug comes on the market, the government must approve it first, otherwise it should not be sold. Indeed, the government protects its citizens in this way against quacks. The launch of a new drug is a lengthy and costly process. Many pharmaceutical companies are going for this reason even bankruptcy. The manufacturers of electronic cigarettes wait a long agony of rules and tests that will last for years and years. The government hopes that most of these companies get stuck during this phase.




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