E-cigarettes were left seemingly unnoticed by George Osborne, and could encourage more smokers to stop and start vaping.

The tax on tobacco will rise by 2% and hand-rolling tobacco by 5%, following the revelation of Osborne’s hellacious budget.

The changes will take effect today (Wednesday) at 6pm.

It is possible that Osborne is simply waiting to see what happens with the EU referendum as member states have discussed taxing e-cigarettes at the same rate as normal tobacco.

MEP Louise Bours recently said that raising the e-cigarette tax will discourage smokers from switching and cost lives.

“When you look at those figures and realise how many lives could be being saved, as well as the savings that would bring to the NHS, it makes the EU’s idea of raising taxes on potential life-saving devices look like an act of sheer folly.”

“If we want to encourage people to give up smoking, which we do, then surely we should give them every encouragement instead of raising taxes on the very devices that are helping them.”