Stopping the Vape Tax

The New Nicotine Alliance, a charity speaking out on behalf of vapers, is warning the public that there are just 4 weeks left for people to submit their opinions to the government consultation on its “draconian” vape tax proposals. The charity is firmly opposed to the vape tax and is urging vapers to get involved to help change or cancel it. The New Nicotine Alliance has produced a set of pointers on how to get involved.

What is the New Nicotine Alliance?
The New Nicotine Alliance was born from a group of friends who had quit smoking by switching to vaping.  Through their links with leading smoking and tobacco researchers and policy experts, the charity has blossomed since 2016.
The charity works to promote greater understanding of nicotine, current research into tobacco harm reduction products (especially vaping) and tobacco harm reduction approaches, which entails attending and presenting to conferences, giving evidence to parliamentary committees, and attending events to inform vapers and smokers. The New Nicotine Alliance conducts numerous calls to action for consumers, helping to coordinate end user responses to important issues.

The New Nicotine Alliance says: “The Board of NNA, and our Associates include ex-smokers, most of whom have succeeded in giving up smoking through the use of other nicotine delivery systems, public health analysts and scientists.

“The NNA is completely independent of commercial interests in relevant industries (e-cigarettes, tobacco, pharmaceutical companies, etc). It operates on a not-for-profit basis and is free from commercial bias. Our policies and public statements are evidence-based, with a clear focus on the health of consumers and the wider public.”

“The government’s proposals on single use vapes, flavours and packaging are misguided and will cost lives”
The New Nicotine Alliance was very critical when the government announced its plans for vaping back at the start of the year. Along with the vape tax, Rishi Sunak declared that he would be moving to ban disposable vapes, limit eliquid flavours to just four types (mint, menthol, tobacco, and fruit), makes vape products like tobacco products and use plain packaging, and to hide away the “life-saving products” in stores.
“It is extremely concerning that ministers have given little or no thought to how their proposed actions will affect adult vapers and adults who currently smoke,” the charity said.
Despite advocating for smokers to be encouraged to switch to vaping, the anti-smoking organisation Action on Smoking and Health welcomed the vape tax announcement.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said: “Putting excise duty on vapes gives much needed additional powers to Border Force and HMRC to stop the import of illegal vapes which are flooding the market and need to be brought under control. These are powers they already have for tobacco which helped reduce the consumption of illegal cigarettes by 80% between 2000 and 2021.”
Unfortunately, many of the public health experts that support the idea of switching to vaping agree with Deborah Arnott and so the government hasn’t got the message that this tax could result in people returning to smoking or not bothering to quit tobacco in the first place.

The Vape Tax
The New Nicotine Alliance says: “It is the NNA’s view that the duty rates, as currently set, are draconian and unwarranted. The UK would, overnight, be responsible for the second most expensive and punishing tax on vaping in Europe. This will significantly deter people who smoke from switching to vaping and will certainly result in many new vapers returning to smoking.”

As we detailed last week, Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has scheduled the vape tax to be applied in stores and online in October 2026. The tax is going to be split into three sections: Nicotine-free has a £1 charge, 1-11mg/ml strength has a £2 charge, and strengths over 12mg/ml has a £3 charge.

But this isn’t the whole story: VAT will be charged on top of the tax levy. This means the weaker juices will increase in price by 98% – and users of higher strength juices face a whopping 143% price increase! The New Nicotine Alliance estimates that a 10ml bottle of 20mg/ml eliquid could rise from an average of £3.99 to over £6.99, plus 60 pence VAT. A 100ml shortfill bottle currently costing £9.99 would cost vapers £19.99 – plus £2.00 VAT – with the charge applied to the two necessary bottles of nicotine.
The charity says: “It is vital that as many consumers and supporters of vaping as a harm reduction tool make their view known by responding to the government’s public consultation by the closing date of 29 May.”

What does the New Nicotine Alliance say to do?
Firstly, the New Nicotine Alliance is asking vapers to complete the government’s response form and then email it to:
But, these things can be complicated and confusing, so the New Nicotine Alliance has produced a guide on how to complete your submission.
“Your responses are vital,” the New Nicotine Alliance says. “Make your case clearly and firmly but please remember to be polite and constructive.”

The ‘No to the Vape Tax’ website
In addition, the New Nicotine Alliance has joined forces with to create the ‘No Vape Tax’ website –
The two consumer organisations are seeking your story (up to 100 words), to publish on the website, detailing how the new vape tax would affect you. Many people have already submitted their stories and feature on the landing page.

The final action
The final thing the New Nicotine Alliance would like vapers to do is to get in contact with your local politician.
The charity says: “You can also write to your MP expressing your concerns about the new vape tax. Explain how important vaping has been for helping you to stop smoking and how the tax will impact you financially.”
You can find the contact details for your local MP on the government’s easy to use website.