23 Jul TMA responds to the publication of the DHSC/Cabinet Office ‘Advancing our health’ green paper
“The TMA welcomes the Government’s positive approach in support of e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking, as outlined in the ‘Advancing our health’ green paper, and we will wait for further details in relation to the inclusion of inserts in tobacco products providing guidance on stopping smoking.
However, we strongly oppose the idea of introducing a levy on a legal product which contributes over £11 billion in tax each year. Tobacco tax already represents nearly 90% of the price of pack of cigarettes. We fully agree with the Treasury assessment last year that ‘a levy would complicate the tax system, impose an administrative burden on businesses and HMRC and would create uncertainty for businesses and consumers’.
HMRC’s own analysis shows that behavioural effects undermine the revenue raising potential of a levy, instead it will only result in the continuing growth in the trade, supply and consumption of illicit and counterfeit tobacco. There are a number of other measures included in the green paper which would be more effective in reducing smoking rates, and we would welcome the opportunity to engage with Government on the best measures to achieve the stated public health objectives.”