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In an effort to combat smoking, Jeremy Hunt announced a new tax on vape pens.

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt outlined proposals for a new levy on vapes in today’s spring Budget, a bold step to discourage smoking. Through their financial unaffordability, the alternatives to smoking are intended to discourage young consumption. The charge, which is scheduled to go into effect in October 2026, will mainly target the liquid used in vaping devices. Products with higher nicotine contents will be subject to additional levies.

This declaration is in line with other government initiatives to create a generation that is “smoke-free,” such as a prohibition on tobacco sales to minors under the age of 14. Authorities voice apprehensions regarding the affordability of vaping, citing potential hazards for minors and those who do not smoke.

According to recent polls, 3.7% of youths between the ages of 11 and 18 reported regularly vaping. This indicates how common vaping is among adolescents. Furthermore, according to statistics from the International Tobacco Control study, 24% of English youths between the ages of 16 and 19 reported vaping within the previous 30 days in 2022.

Hunt announced a one-time rise in tobacco duty in addition to the vaping charge. Tobacco costs are expected to rise in 2023 despite prior increases; an average packet of 20 cigarettes is predicted to cost £16. The primary objective of the government is still to lower the smoking rates, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been a proponent of preventative efforts to discourage youth from taking up smoking.

Given that smoking is still the UK’s top cause of death and illness, accounting for some 76,000 deaths each year, this program is in line with larger attempts to address public health concerns. The Budget contains a £3.4 billion investment in NHS productivity, with an emphasis on better patient access and technological integration, to support healthcare services.

Amanda Pritchard, the chief executive of NHS England, praised the money and underlined how it can spur efficiency and innovation in the healthcare sector. By providing more funding for front-line healthcare services and infrastructure, the government hopes to improve long-term health goals and provide patients with real advantages.

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