KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 – Anwar Ibrahim announced today the government’s plans to impose excise duties on e-cigarette or vape liquids containing nicotine.
The prime minister, who is also finance minister, said during the tabling of Budget 2023 in Parliament that half of the vape tax revenue will be earmarked for the Ministry of Health (MOH).
“Even though vape with nicotine is still not legal in the eyes of the law, the fact is that it is sold widely and is estimated to be worth more than RM2 billion,” Anwar told the Dewan Rakyat today.
“Wouldn’t it be great if it was regulated and taxed so as to discourage the use of vape?
“The government supports the spirit of the generational end game (GEG) and has agreed to earmark half of the revenue from this excise duty for the Ministry of Health for efforts to improve the quality of health services and for effective anti-smoking and anti-drinking campaigns.”
Electronic cigarettes and vape products have yet to be regulated, pending the tabling and passage of the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022 that stalled in the 14th Parliament.
The controversial tobacco bill had proposed to ban cigarettes, and tobacco and vape products for the next generation born from 2007, also known as the GEG.
Before the 14th Parliament was dissolved, the Dewan Rakyat special select committee on the tobacco control bill had suggested several revisions to the bill, including to drop personal possession of tobacco and vape products by anyone born from 2007 as an offence.
As this is a new Parliament, the bill will have to be tabled again afresh.