Cigarettes will become more expensive from 2022, but e-cigarettes in particular will then increase significantly in price. The tobacco reform will therefore do the opposite of its real aim – and should be revised.
The admonishers apparently did not get through: The Bundestag decided on Friday to reform the tobacco tax at the last minute. The federal government and the Ministry of Finance under Olaf Scholz (SPD) are ignoring addiction researchers and doctors.
In the future, cigarettes will be more expensive, by 50 cents per pack by 2026. That is correct. But e-cigarettes are significantly more expensive in relation to each other, whether with or without nicotine, or rather: the necessary liquid for the devices.
For a 10-milliliter liquid, which currently costs around 5 euros, tax should be 1.60 euros more next year. The surcharge is expected to rise to 3.20 euros by 2026.
The problem: This form of smoking is considered to be significantly less harmful to health than smoking classic tobacco products. In particular, people who want to get away from the cigarette often use the electrical alternative. With it you get the addictive nicotine in case of doubt, but do without the particularly dangerous toxins such as tar.
New law is a blow to science
In the future, smokers will think twice about switching to the e-cigarette, or as an e-cigarette consumer they will find their way back to the butt.
In particular, people with low incomes, who take up cigarettes more often than higher earners, are likely to stick with cancer-causing butts in the future. The tobacco tax is actually a steering tax. It is supposed to keep people from smoking – now it does the opposite.
The new law is a blow to science, a tax for the tax’s sake. Its sole purpose is to generate income and ignore the advice of experts. Nor is it consoling that hookahs will soon become more expensive, which will motivate young people to smoke.
The e-cigarette industry has already announced resistance and wants to take it to the Federal Constitutional Court. Otherwise the EU will take care of it.
She wants to make a proposal for an EU-wide tobacco reform at the end of this year. At the latest when the new government has to revise the law, the national solo effort should be cashed in. It is to be hoped.