Lung Cancer Network Malaysia (LCNM) understands the Budget 2023 proposal tabled by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim seeks to impose an excise duty on liquid and gel nicotine products used for electronic cigarettes and vape.
While we await long-term data on the dangers of e-cigarettes and vapes, emerging evidence appears to link it to a number of potentially serious health conditions.
The use of tobacco and nicotine-related products remain a major yet preventable contributor of non-communicable diseases, including respiratory ailments and many malignancies, in particular lung cancer.
This proposed tax will on the one hand inadvertently legalise e-cigarettes and vapes, but simultaneously make such products less affordable and hopefully less available to young people.
If an outright ban is presently not viable, LCNM would like to emphasise the need for diligent surveillance and enforcement of regulations to counter a possible rise in the illicit trade of such products.
The medical costs of therapy for smoking and vape related diseases remains a major drain on our nation’s resources. Hence the intention to ring-fence half the revenue from this sin tax for health care is laudable.
We call upon this unity government led by our esteemed PM to pass the Tobacco Control Bill, in the public health interests of our beloved nation and citizens.
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