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The Stage of Simple Decisions Is Nearing Its End

March
Volodymyr Dubrovskyi, Senior economist of the CASE-Ukraine Analytical Center, observes a growing trend in Ukraine to place less harmful ways of consuming
nicotine on an equal footing with regular cigarettes.
There has recently been a growing trend in Ukraine to place less harmful ways of consuming nicotine on an equal footing with regular cigarettes. They are certainly not harmless because they cause addiction, to begin with. But lawmakers have ignored their existence altogether for many years, so they have not been taxed in any additional way. Now, however, the pendulum has swung to the other extreme. Whereas it would be best to create a system where the affordability of different nicotine consumption products would correspond to their harmfulness, with cigarettes being the most expensive, vapes the cheapest, and heating systems in the medium price range, closer to vapes.
The stage of simple and unambiguous solutions in the fight for the health of the nation is likely to draw to a close. We need a comprehensive strategy, from effective assistance to those who want to quit smoking at least in its most harmful form by choosing through tax incentives a less harmful method of delivering nicotine (which requires a significant increase in excise tax on cigarettes while retaining taxation of their alternatives) to effective combating smuggling and counterfeiting, in the absence of which tax increases will have the opposite effect.