Agreed. But they don't do it in a vacuum, somebody somewhere with a lot of influence tells them what would be a good idea. If the State or National budget requires a cash injection, the legislative forum members are told which way to vote. They don't invent those numbers themselves. If the people paying the bills want more cash they have the means to get it.Bill Godshall - Don't know about the UK, but in the US and most other countries only elected officials (e.g. Congress, state legislatures, parliaments), not revenue department bureaucrats, can legally establish, increase or reduce tax rates.
There is an argument that the sooner an additional sales tax is imposed on ecigs / liquids, the better, as it helps in a number of ways. It'll happen sooner or later, the glory days are almost over. If you look back to the 70s, it was a bonanza time in so many areas. We just had / are having the 70s of ecigs and I don't see that lasting for ever. Sales of products with no UL / CE mark and no public testing of ingredients doesn't seem sustainable to me. In addition, if hardware is all marked as tested, and liquid ingredients are tested in some way, and ecigs are taxed additionally, it makes our position that much stronger. I personally don't want to see any changes at all as things are just fine as they are. But this is the 70s of ecigs, change is going to come whether you or I like it or not, so maybe we'd better try and get the changes arranged to our liking.
Fair enough but which agenda are we addressing? We have around three on the go: (1) to prove ecigs are a viable alternative, and safer than tobacco; (2) to convert smokers en masse, and (3) to survive a legislative assault coordinated and controlled by organisations determined to ban the ecig as it will hurt them financially.BG - I strongly disagree. Any study that finds e-cigarettes emit significantly fewer contaminants than cigarettes, that finds e-cigarette usage results in significantly fewer respiratory problems than cigarettes, that findes e-cigarettes satisfy the cravings of smokers, and/or that finds smokers have quit smoking (or sharply reduced cigarette consumption) by switching to e-cigarettes should help our efforts.
It seems to me that right now #3 is a priority. If, in order to survive the first battle, we have to prove that ecigs basically don't do anything (as we now can), that seems fine to me. You have to win battle #1 before you can take the next step. Right now, after these three trials with near-identical results, legislation that is based around the premise that ecigs are drug delivery devices and/or affect the metabolism to any significant degree would fail. There are three clinical trials that say ecigs do nothing significant and that position is solid until other trials say otherwise. That's fine by me - converting the masses can wait till we fend off the assault.
Granted, a million or two supporters would help a fair bit. But to be realistic, the number we could recruit in the next three months wouldn't help much. On the other hand, the next three months is critical in the various regulation battles - so that's what we need to keep our sights on.
In the UK we are worse off than the US as the FDA has already lost, and look to be fighting on the retreat. Here, though, we have a predatory government agency, the MHRA, looking to (a) prey on a weak industry and grab some cash in the form of medical licenses before that industry and community are strong enough to resist, and (b) protect the interests of their friends by shutting us down. Their attack is based on two things, the precise effects of ecigarettes and the way they are marketed. Because of the crazies who market ecigs as the final answer to all health problems, we have to prove they are a 1% rogue element in order to avoid that prong of the attack; the other prong is their claim that ecigs are a drug delivery device. Well, we now know they aren't and MHRA can't prove otherwise, which solves that particular problem. All we need to do now is fund the defence at law.
And if all goes well in the US, the FDA will have to go away and lick their wounds. But one thing you can be sure of: that won't be the end of it. Not by a long chalk. The existence of multiple research trials that prove ecigs do nothing is a useful card to have in your hand.