PETALING JAYA: The taxing of all vape products should be in line with public health principles and the risk each type poses to public health, says the Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control (MCTC).
The anti-smoking NGO said that while the proposed excise duty on vape products would be a great first step to tackling the relatively unregulated vape product industry, the actual tariff imposed should not be a one-size fits all blanket tariff but should instead target vape products based on its nicotine content.
"Even products not containing nicotine have a role in terms of recreational use and definitely need to be taxed as well in line with the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) Taxation and Price Measures," it said.
The NGO also lauded the government’s decision to channel half of the proceeds from the excise duty to the Health Ministry as an effort to improve the quality of health services, stressing that the ministry must also play its part in utilising the additional money given.
"The actual tariff for these products may then differ depending on the presence or absence of nicotine as well as the amount of nicotine content within these products," it said in a press release on Feb 24.
"The monies should be used to further strengthen national smoking cessation efforts including funding education programmes and widening availability of services including therapeutics across the country," it said.
MCTC did however lament the ongoing lack of an overarching framework to govern the conventional cigarette, e-cigarette and vape landscape, noting that this vulnerability continued to leave many regulatory and enforcement loopholes in the industry even in terms of revenue collection.