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Belgium to Implement New Tax on E-Liquids Amidst Criticisms

Belgium introduces a new tax on e-liquids for e-cigarettes starting January 1, 2024. The move has sparked concerns among users and retailers about increased costs and potential shift back to traditional cigarettes.

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Saboor Bayat
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Belgium to Implement New Tax on E-Liquids Amidst Criticisms

Starting on January 1, 2024, Belgium will implement a new tax on e-liquids for electronic cigarettes, charging 15 cents per milliliter. The move has sparked criticism from users and retailers alike, citing fears of increased costs and a potential surge in the shift back to traditional tobacco cigarettes.

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E-Cigarette Users and Retailers Express Concern

Paule, a user of e-cigarettes, shared her concerns about the financial impact of the impending tax and the possible health consequences of reverting to traditional cigarettes. Users like her have found vaping to be a healthier and more affordable alternative to smoking, but the new tax threatens to inflate their expenses considerably. Retailers located near country borders also express distress, worrying about losing business to neighboring countries where e-liquids might be cheaper due to the absence of such a tax.

Health Organizations Weigh In

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Health organizations, including the Ligue contre le cancer, acknowledge the need to regulate the vaping market but caution that the tax should not discourage smokers from utilizing e-cigarettes as a cessation tool. They emphasize the potential health risks of driving users back to traditional smoking.

The Government's Perspective

The spokesperson for the federal Finance Minister defended the tax, stating that it aligns with Germany's tax rate, which is also set to increase in the coming years. They further clarified that the goal is not to encourage people to return to smoking, but to recognize that e-cigarettes are also tobacco products and should be used as a temporary measure. The tax aims to deter youths aged 15-24 from vaping, particularly those who have never smoked before.

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