On July 7, hundreds of Italian Vapers staged a protest in front of the Ministry of Economy in Rome to denounce excessive taxation of e-liquid, which has already been declared unconstitutional by the Italian Constitutional Court. Members of the vaping community, manufacturers and distributors showed up at the Ministry of Economy waving flags that read "We do not want to die of smoking, but live to vape" to send a clear signal to the Government that they were determined to fight for Their rights.
Massimiliano Federici, president of SVAPO (Italian Federation of Electronic Cigarette Traders) said that the conflicts arising from e-cigarette and e-liquid taxes have been going on for two years now, once and for all. "We just want to operate according to clear and fair rules, do not be the scapegoat of some tobacco company sees that electronic cigarettes as an enemy that has to destroy," Federici told reporters.
Elizabeth Robotti, president of Anide (Independent Traders Association), said that "after two years of suffering and owners of electronic cigar stores are determined to fight and their opinions are firmer than ever "And added that" they want to do business under the rule of law, but only if they are allowed to do so. " At this point, however, it is almost impossible to do, and the latest statistics confirm. In 2013, Italy was the second largest electronic cigarette market in the world after the United States, with about 4,000 registered companies, but after lawmakers began their offensive against the sector, things began to move towards the South, fast. Nowadays, only 1,000 companies still operate in Italy, and the number of Vapers has dropped by more than half, from 4.2% of the adult population in 2013 to 1.6% in 2014.
The number of people using ecigs in 2013 was about 510,000 people (1% of the population); In 2014 it has grown to about 255,000 (0.5%). Occasional users were 1.6 million in 2013 (3.2%), 550,000 (1.1%) in 2014. Things are not coming out any better in 2015, or, as industry data shows a decrease In national sales by 70% in the first five months of the year 2014.