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Whitehall sources are looking at so called “sin taxes” to raise cash for the health service’s spending bonanza. And e-cigarettes are not currently taxed – because of their benefits in helping people quit fags.

But Chris Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs think tanks compared it to “taxing bicycles to pay for the costs of obesity”.

Users typically go through one 10ml bottle a week costing around £5 which amounts to an annual bill of £275.