Government to study need to impose excise tax on vapes
Nov 05 2015
The Health Ministry is studying the need to impose excise tax on electronic cigarettes, including vape, to prevent it from becoming a culture among Malaysians. "If the e-cigarettes contain nicotine, under the law, we have the power to give it the same treatment as cigarettes".
Dr Subramaniam said his ministry was responsible for sending stern messages that e-cigarettes could bring about negative health effects in the long run. He said the ministry was fighting to prevent the vaping culture from replacing the cigarette smoking culture after the successful 40 to 50 year-old war against tobacco.
"In relation to this we have issued a guidebook on healthy eating titled "Panduan Makan Secara Sihat Semasa Perayaan Deepavali" which can be downloaded from my ministry's website", he said.
Dr Subramaniam was reported by a local daily over the weekend saying that the selling and promotion of e-cigarettes could very well be restricted if the government decides to apply the same set of rules regulating the use of tobacco products to "vaping".
"We are presently looking into the matter and make sure there is a proper guideline for the device's safety as soon as possible", its minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin told reporters after launching the ministry's Integrity Day 2015 today. "We want to stop Malaysians from vaping - whether there is a ban on it or not", he asserted. "Otherwise, they are committing an offence and we can take action", he said.
"In just one year, users of e-cigarettes and vape have increased significantly".
Its minister Dr S Subramaniam said that his ministry is empowered to do so under the 1952 Poisons Act and 1983 Food Act, pointing out that vape shops are presently not licensed to sell any products which contain nicotine.