New tax on vape and e-cigarette products from next year

Finance Minister says move aimed at ‘insidious’ and ‘deliberate’ marketing of vapes towards young people

Work is under way to introduce a tax on e-cigarettes and vapes next year, to help address the “insidious” practice of producers targeting young people, according to the Minister for Finance.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne Show, Minister Michael McGrath confirmed his department had started work with Revenue to announce the tax in the next Budget, and introduce it next year.

This is in line with an announcement in last October’s budget that a tax on e-cigarettes and vaping products would be introduced in Budget 2025.

When asked about the aim of the proposed tax, Mr McGrath mentioned the “insidious” targeting of vape and e-cigarette products towards young people.


“There’s no doubt but it is a deliberate policy. In my mind, what is happening when you see all the attractive flavours and names, it’s definitely targeting young people and very successfully,” he said.

While acknowledging that for some people e-cigarettes are a way of quitting cigarettes that are “far more damaging to public health”, Mr McGrath also noted there are many unknowns about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes generally.

He said it was important for the Department of Finance’s proposed tax to align with policies of other departments around e-cigarettes and vapes, such as the Department of Health and the Department of Environment.

“What I’m doing is taking a comprehensive approach to consulting across Government to make sure there’s full policy alignments that are consistent in the policy position we adopt. But I do believe that that will result in a new tax being announced in the next budget, and introduced next year,” he said.

Speaking about when the next general election should be held, the Minister said his view is that the Government should run its full term, and hold the election around this time next year.

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This would also allow the current Government to deliver the next Budget this autumn.

“I think governments should, except for unforeseen events, run their full term. I know there’ll be lots of articles about tactics and when the election should be and so on, but at its simplest level, you commit to serving a full term, I think you should serve the full term,” he said.

“In a world where there is a premium on certainty because of the lack of certainty globally, the instability, the conflict, the geopolitical tensions, I do believe that a government running its full time, going to the people at the end of the five-year period, giving an account of what it has done and the areas where it feels more work needs to be done – I think that that is the right approach,” he added.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.