Expensive steam: 3.20 euros tobacco tax for liquids
Photo: Lisa Ducret / dpa
Representatives of the e-cigarette industry want to go to court and thus prevent their products from being taxed significantly higher than before. Because of the tobacco tax reform one will submit a constitutional complaint to the Federal Constitutional Court, said the chairman of the interest group "Alliance for Tobacco-Free Enjoyment", Dustin Dahlmann, the news agency dpa. On Wednesday, a parliamentary committee approved a change in the law, according to which a 10-milliliter liquid for e-cigarettes will be charged 1.60 euros more in taxes next year. The tobacco tax is expected to rise to 3.20 euros by 2026. "That is completely disproportionate," said Dahlmann.
Currently, only VAT is charged on the liquids for the evaporators.
In addition to VAT, tobacco tax will also become due next year.
A 10-milliliter liquid currently costs around five euros - in a few years it would rise to 8.20 euros if the net price remained the same.
Industry representative Dahlmann points out that the liquids contain far fewer harmful substances than tobacco cigarettes.
"This advantage must also be reflected in taxation." However, this is not the case in the amendment to the law.
The Ministry of Finance's calculation, according to which tobacco tax revenues from liquids will increase from 108 to 717 million euros in the years 2022 to 2026, also causes a lack of understanding in the industry.
"That would mean that significantly more people would start vaping than today - but that is unrealistic given the foreseeable price jumps," said Dahlmann.
E-cigarettes are still a niche industry in Germany.
According to an industry association, 450 million euros were turned over with liquids and devices in the past year.
In 2015, a study commissioned by the British health authorities concluded that e-cigarettes were around 95 percent less harmful than tobacco cigarettes.
The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), however, refers to aerosols that are created when liquids are heated and that can contain carcinogenic or possibly carcinogenic substances. "Compared to tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes are very probably much less harmful, but they are not harmless lifestyle products," the DKFZ says. Non-smokers should not use e-cigarettes because of the unknown long-term health effects. The Federal Office for Risk Assessment calls e-cigarettes “anything but harmless”.