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Hertfordshire County Council’s executive member for public health welcomes Budget tax on vaping





Hertfordshire’s top public health councillor has welcomed Government plans to impose a new tax on vaping.

Vaping is widely regarded as a useful tool for smokers looking to give up cigarettes and tobacco. However, there have been concerns that the cost, flavours and bright packaging may be making vapes appealing to young people too.

As part of the Budget, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced plans for a vaping duty, which is expected to be implemented in October 2026. The move is designed to make vaping less accessible to young people and non-smokers – while raising revenue for public services and smoking initiatives.

Stock image
Stock image

It builds on Government plans to ban the sale of disposable vapes and to bring in powers to restrict flavours and packaging, announced earlier this year.

Cllr Morris Bright, Hertfordshire County Council’s executive member for public health, said: “I think the Chancellor has got it right that we put duty on vapes. Hopefully it will discourage younger people from spending their money on vapes.”

Cllr Bright likened them to alcopops 25 years ago. He feared there were now some people starting to vape who would not have started smoking, and suggested the additional cost might deter them. But he stressed that he is not against vaping as a means of stopping smoking.

Cllr Morris Bright, Hertfordshire County Council’s executive member for public health
Cllr Morris Bright, Hertfordshire County Council’s executive member for public health

“I think vapes should be used to enable people who have an addiction to smoking to come off in a way that allows them to withdraw effectively and without too much anxiety and distress,” he says.

With a lower level of tax than tobacco, he said vaping would still be an attractive alternative to smoking.

Following the Chancellor’s Budget statement, the Government has launched a consultation on the plans which could include a three-tier structure: a duty of £1 per 10ml of nicotine-free liquids, £2 per 10ml of liquids containing the same or less nicotine as an average cigarette and £3 per 10ml of liquid containing more nicotine than an average cigarette.

According to the consultation document, last year 12% of the adult population used e-cigarettes and 20.5% of 11- to 17-year-olds had tried vaping in March and April of that year.



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