A review of Australia’s e-cigarettes tax, which has been in place since 2014, has found that it is likely to fail to achieve its stated aim of reducing tobacco use and to provide a cost effective method of delivering the government’s anti-tobacco policies.
The review by the Australian Council of Medical Royal Colleges concluded that there was no conclusive evidence to support the government claims that the tax would reduce smoking rates and that it was not effective.
The review said the government did not have a clear understanding of the effectiveness of its policy and that the evidence provided was inadequate.
“There are many reasons why we should be concerned about the impact of the proposed e-cigs tax on smoking rates, particularly given the current data and the lack of evidence supporting any impact on smoking or other tobacco related harms,” the council’s report said.
“It is clear that the existing data does not provide any evidence to suggest that the proposed tax would have any significant impact on tobacco use or tobacco related health harms.”
The government says it is looking at ways to cut its carbon emissions, but there is no certainty about whether the tax will reduce smoking, or how much it will cost.
It has also said that it will seek to increase the price of e-cig products, and is exploring the possibility of a national retail tax.
The government’s carbon emissions fell in 2016 to 31 per cent of Australia GDP, down from 34 per cent in 2014.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, tobacco-related CO2 emissions rose in 2016 by 0.9 per cent.
More than 3.4 million Australians died from tobacco-associated diseases in 2016, a rise of 17 per cent on 2015, according to the National Health and Medical Research Council.
However, a new study released last month found that e-vapor products could save Australian families more than $2,300 a year in the long run.
The study by the University of Adelaide, the Australian National University and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found that people who used e-liquid and vape products could reduce their tobacco-attributable CO2 exposure by up to 17 per, compared with tobacco users who do not.
Despite the positive results, the research found that the vast majority of people who switched to e-juice products did not reduce their exposure to tobacco.
It said the majority of users did not switch to e.liquids because they were not able to afford them, or did not think they were worth the cost.
Professor David Nutt, the former director of the Australian Research Council and now chair of the Health and Society Institute at the University