Half of tax collected from vape sales to be channeled to Health Ministry, says Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR: Half of the tax proceeds collected from the sale of vape nicotine products will be channeled to the Health Ministry to treat Malaysians, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“So far, what’s decided by the government is that 50 percent of the proceeds collected from vape taxes will be returned to the Health Ministry to assist in efforts of health recovery,” said Anwar.

He said this when replying to questions during the weekly Prime Minister’s Question Time in Parliament on Tuesday (April 4) morning.

Anwar also said the proposed Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023, which will ensure regulation on nicotine liquids and gel in e-cigarettes and vape products, would be tabled soon.

Anwar said that delays in regards to the Bill were due to ongoing discussions among MPs on certain provisions of the Bill.

“Our decision is clear, we will introduce (the Bill). I apologise for the delay before several MPs asked us to relook into certain provisions of the Bill. It will not be totally rejected,” added Anwar.

Anwar was responding to a supplementary question by Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii, who asked if there was a timeline to table the Bill to regulate vape products.

Yii also asked if 50% of revenue collected under the vape tax would be used to treat patients.

Anwar said he shared the same views on smoking as Yii.

“Smoking is also not allowed in my house, as ordered by my wife,” said Anwar, where several MPs were seen smiling in response to the light moment.

Earlier, Anwar said that the excise duty for vape products was announced during the tabling of Budget 2023 in February and it has garnered negative feedback from MPs.

Anwar said the Bill on regulating nicotine liquids and gel in e-cigarettes and vape products is to be renegotiated between the Health Ministry and MPs as there was adverse feedback.

“Right now, the Customs Department will regulate its sale and for the Bill (on regulating vape products), I hope it can be tabled in the coming Parliament sitting in May

“Meanwhile, awareness and advocacy programs on vape and smoking should be increased,” said Anwar.

Anwar was responding to Datuk Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi (PN-Kuala Langat), who asked about the government’s decision to delist nicotine products from the Poisons Act.

He then said that it will be too extreme to issue an outright ban on vape products.

“I believe that all healthcare professionals, including doctors, are staunch on this issue.

“But, for the government, it is hard for us to ban vape. But, we can increase awareness among people so they make a choice,” said Anwar

Several groups have criticised the decision to exclude nicotine products from the Poisons List.

The Health Ministry had said that by removing nicotine products from the Poisons List, it would introduce a new bill dubbed as the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 to regulate all smoking products.

The next Parliament sitting will commence on May 22 and it will meet for 11 days until June 15.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

Malaysia offers condolences to India over train tragedy
Housewife claims lost RM110,556 to online job scam
Log booms to stop rubbish flowing into Sg Skudai
Woman trapped in car in Klang flash flood
Tun Faisal says he will not attend Umno general assembly even if invited
Re-examine strategies to tackle drug abuse among teens, says NGO chief
Celebrity daughters of sacked Finas chief pen words of support
Mixed feelings over Anwar at assembly
Private car owners moonlight as guides
Tourists may be misguided by the untrained

Others Also Read