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Italian e-cig firms say new tax benefits the tobacco industry.

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E cigarette firms in Italy are saying that a new e-cig tax is not only doubling the price of e-liquid refills, it is also unfairly helping the tobacco industry.

The new e-cig tax, adopted in January of this year is set at half the rate of the existing tobacco tax, yet this same rate is applied to non-combustible tobacco products, such as the tobacco Heatstick.  The Heatstick warms the tobacco but does not burn it. The issue being raised by the e-cig industry is one of a smokeless nicotine product being treated the same as a smokeless tobacco product.  The method of calculating the new tax is also said to be very complex. 

Its unjust, said Massimiliano Mancini, president of ANAFE-Confindustria, a national trade association of e-cig and e-liquids producers. Its clear that this legislation has been drafted for other interests than just taxing the e-cigs. Mancini however declined to elaborate further on this comment.  

Italy is one of the first in the EU to tax e-cigarettes, with the rest of the EU now considering the idea and keeping a close eye on the Italian e-cigarette market.

Italy collects around 12 billion euros in tobacco tax, but the tax take has declined by more than 500 million euros since 2013. The government has said that this is in part due to the rise and popularity of e-cigarettes. 

The Italian Government initially tried to introduce tobacco tax that tripled the price of e-liquids, but this bill was blocked by the Italian courts.

6th March 2015, 16:53