According to reports, e-cigarettes could be taxed at the same rate as tobacco, to the dismay of those who support their health benefits. After a number of EU countries reportedly agreed on the matter, members can levy more tax on e-cigarette products, which will impact the pockets of vapers all over Europe. Currently, e-cigarettes, carrying a VAT levy of 20%, aren’t taxed at the level of normal cigarettes.

If the changes are made, the cost of a £23 e-cigarette could rocket to £53 of higher. The move is to compensate for falling revenues as smokers switched to the devices. The European Commission has that it has advised proposals to “include e-cigarettes in the scope of excise duty on tobacco products”. This is likely to enrage supporters of the devices who argue that they’re a fantastic method to quit cigarettes.

Deborah Arnott, from the health campaign group ASH, said the move could discourage smokers from switching to e-cigarettes. “If the EU were to require member states to tax electronic cigarettes like tobacco products it would be seriously detrimental to public health,” said Arnott. Similarly, Ukip leader Nigel Farage took to Twitter, saying he was appalled by the decision, and encouraged vapers to support his Eurosceptic campaign and vote to leave the European Union in the upcoming referendum.

Farage wrote on the social media site: "Appalled that EU set to tax e-cigarettes at same levels as tobacco. All vapers must vote to Leave EU!" It was recently revealed that the devices are 95% safer than regular cigarettes according to Public Health England, the governmental agency from the department of health.

Public Health England have also encouraged NHS hospitals and doctors to prescribe or recommend e-cigarettes to smokers looking to quit.

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