Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 2

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Page 36 of 67

tobaccoasia 37 STORY TELL YOUR BRAND Boegli–Gravures can help you to develop subtle, refined and ingenious ways of elevating your brand's characteristics and enhance your consumer brand experience. Let us partner with you to bring new dimensions to your marketing. Sans titre-1 6 12.05.2015 12:04:10 products in the UK and around the world remains to be seen. Canada Vapers Challenge Quebec The Canadian Vaping Association has filed a legal challenge against a Quebec law that limits the use of electronic cigarettes. Bill 44 prohibits the testing of e-cigarettes in specialty shops, bans in-store display and promotion and forbids online sales of any vape product. The wide-ranging law introduced by Quebec legislators last year was designed in part to put the popular e-cigarette on the same footing as other tobacco products. But the association, which describes itself as a national group of advocates, retailers, manufacturers, and distributors of the electronic cigarette industry, is challenging the constitution- ality of the law. Association president Beju Lakhani says the group's membership includes those who'd rather vape than smoke tobacco and business owners who sell the products. "By introducing these measures, the government of Quebec, we believe, has overstepped its legislative authority," he said in a statement. The association argues the legislation may push sales underground, making enforcing rules like banning sales to minors next to impossible. EU E-Cig Tax Developed EU countries are preparing to tax e-cigarettes under the same regime as normal cigarettes, in a move likely to increase prices and to prompt a fight by lobbyists in Brussels. Recently, member states' ambassa- dors agreed to take the first step by asking the European Commission to draft an "appropriate legislative pro- posal" in 2017. The project was en- dorsed without further discussion when the bloc's finance ministers met on March 8. The ministers' draft conclusions said that e-cigarettes, as well as other "novel" products, could cause "inconsistencies and legal uncertainty" in the single market if they stayed exempt from excise tax. They also said excise duties or some "other specifically designed tax" on novel tobacco items, which use steam instead of smoke to put nicotine into people's lungs, could help meet "public health objectives". They added that work on the new tax regime should be "intensified" if "the market share of such products show a tendency to increase". Under existing rules, all EU coun- tries must impose an excise tax of at least 57% on tobacco products, but most impose only VAT on e-cigarettes at a level of about 20%. One of the EU officials said the next steps would be "to undertake studies, carry out impact assessments, [and] a public consulta- tion", setting the stage for a new lobbying war in Brussels. Commenting on the "public health" aspect of the excise tax project, Olivier Hoedeman, from Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), a Brussels-based pro-transparency NGO, said: "It would be quite awkward to put e-cigarettes in the same category [as normal cigarettes] if the science isn't there yet".

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