KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 – The government plans to provide tax exemptions for smoking cessation products like the nicotine patch and gum under Budget 2023.
Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, when tabling the federal budget in Parliament today, said nicotine replacement therapy products would be exempted from import duties and sales tax to encourage smokers to quit.
Yesterday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that the nicotine patch and gum would be available for sale over-the-counter, after declassifying the smoking cessation products from the Poisons Act 1952 that regulates medicines.
The government also plans to increase enforcement under Budget 2023 against the smuggling of illicit cigarettes and alcoholic products, with Zafrul outlining four measures.
The first is to limit the import of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages to valid land ports, including private jetties.
Secondly, Zafrul said transshipment of liquor would be limited to certain ports.
Thirdly, the Bukit Kayu Hitam immigration, customs, quarantine and security complex in Kedah will be made the northern region’s single exit point.
Fourthly, the finance minister said the government will provide special rewards to increase efforts to combat smuggling.
Zafrul did not announce an increase in tobacco taxes for 2023 that have not been raised for the past seven years since 2015, when the excise tax on cigarettes was increased by 40 per cent.