Council: Tax vape products on nicotine content levels

PETALING JAYA: The taxing of all vape products should be in line with public health principles and the danger each type poses to public health, says the Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control.

The council said while the proposed excise duty on vape products would be a great first step to tackling the unregulated industry, the actual tariff imposed should not be a one-size-fits-all tariff.

“Instead, it should target vape products based on how dangerous they are.

“Even products not containing nicotine definitely need to be taxed as well in line with the World Health Organisation Framework Conven-tion Tobacco Control Taxation and Price Measures,” it said.

“The actual tariff for these products may differ depending on the presence or absence of nicotine in them as well as the amount of nicotine content within these products.

“This will be an important strategy in ensuring the especially dangerous ones are unaffordable and unavailable to children and adolescents who are supposed to be prohibited from using them,” it added.

The council 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 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.

However, the council highlighted the lack of a framework to govern the conventional cigarette, e-cigarette and vape landscape.

“This vulnerability continues to leave many regulatory and enforcement loopholes in the industry even in terms of revenue collection,” it said.

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