Referring to e-cigs as 'tobacco products' so that they can be taxed is akin to referring to bicycles as motor cars and applying a carbon emissions tax to them. But that is just what the EU intends to do. To use the bicycle analogy again, "They're trying to ride us."
The current state of play is that the equivalent of twenty cigarettes in e-cig form costs €2.00. The cost of twenty cigarettes is also €2.00 but then they add €8.50 in combined taxes so that you actually must pay €10.50 for a pack. Price-wise at least, this makes the e-cig a very attractive proposition for the smoker wishing to cut down or quit. Not only that though, but the e-cig is priced well below any of the equivalent pharmaceutical nicotine replacement therapies and this alone will devastate the sales of those dubious products.
The attraction of smoking is always put down squarely to nicotine addiction but the voices you hear mouthing that will inevitably have a vested interest in pharmaceutical profits from NRT's. It has always baffled me how these educated voices will, on the one hand, condemn the nicotine in cigarettes while on the other hand recommend that same nicotine as long as you buy it in a chemist shop in NRT form. The arm patches for example, are an "always on" product meaning it constantly pumps you with nicotine whether you want it or not. It is the pharmaceutical equivalent of chain smoking.
Personally I believe there is more to smoking than just the ingestion of nicotine. Over the years I have heard people refer to the joy of having something in their fingers to fiddle with. Others, especially pipe smokers, will speak of the ritual involved in lighting up and puffing away as relaxation. Many point to the social aspects of smoking together and others like the smoke and smells. The hand to mouth movements are reminiscent of a reassuring behavior from childhood, according to some psychologists. The e-cig satisfies all of the above apart from smell and if there truly is a craving for nicotine then it can satisfy that too. It is a brilliantly thought out product, which accounts for its appeal and success.
Those drafting the law to tax them are the very people who have overtaxed cigarettes using the justification of health. More then a million smokers to date in the UK have taken their advice and used e-cigs to quit so we may assume that thousands in Ireland have done the same. However, should the e-cig taxes go ahead then it becomes a financial penalty for trying to quit smoking and laughingly, it is being applied by the same people who have spent millions trying to convince you to do just that.
If a tubular plastic device that does not contain tobacco of any kind, which cannot be ignited nor does not emit smoke, is classified as a tobacco product then we may as well rename elephants as trees. It is dishonest, disingenuous and ill-thought out. Worse than that though, the health arguments can now be dismissed for what they always have been, lies and disinformation for the benefit of large corporate vested interests and to hell with the EU citizen.
"Smoke 'em if you have 'em."