The Swedish government voted to implement a swinging tax on eliquids. The blinkered policy is set to punish those needing higher strength liquids the most meaning that current smokers and recent quitters may be dissuaded from trying or continuing with vaping. It comes on the back of years of negative news stories whipping up fears of teen epidemics.

 

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Planet of the Vapes was reporting about the move to paint vaping as an evil back in 2018. Atakan Befrits told us: “Swedish media was filled with articles stating there was an e-cig epidemic among its youth and snus use was not decreasing at the desired rates. Government ministers neither released graphs to support such claims, nor did they brief journalists with contextualised data interpretations.

 

There were reports of a 70% increase in teen ‘ever tried’ vaping leading to calls for flavour bans and to treat vaping like smoking with the smoke-free environment laws.

 

The new tax, to begin from January 1 2021, is on two levels. Eliquids up to 15mg/ml in strength will be taxed at 2 Krona per millilitre (17.5p), liquids over 15mg/ml will be taxed at 4 Krona (35p). This means a 10ml bottle is going to cost £1.75 and £3.50 more leading to a huge rise in cost for heavy users and a deterrent for smokers considering switching.

 

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Vejpkollen.se reports, “higher concentration eliquids have been a concern for the Ministry of Finance since e-liquid was regulated in accordance with the European Tobacco Directive”.

 

It quotes Ministry of Finance spokesperson Johan Ekström saying: “E-liquids that contain nicotine at a level above 15 milligrams per millilitre of liquid are acutely toxic. When the law was introduced, a large part of these liquids were exempt from taxation because they were not legally allowed to be sold to consumers. However, the Swedish Chemicals Agency has later made a new assessment of the application of the law and now considers that the rules that prevent sales in certain cases do not apply.”

News of this toxicity will come as a surprise to all of those currently licking spilt liquid off their hands after refilling.

 

Since we can no longer rule out that consumers can legally buy the products, we propose taxation. In order not to steer consumers towards buying them to mix in other e-liquid, we propose a higher tax for other nicotine liquids.”