In the Philippines, the resistance of the e-cigarette industry is organizing against taxes that could push smokers to no longer choose to transition to vaping. The e-cigarette lobby has said its products are safer than traditional products and called on the government not to tax it at the same rate as tobacco products.
In the Philippines, vaping industry groups said last Friday that taxing e-cigarettes at the same rate as conventional cigarettes would not reduce tobacco use and risk discouraging the use of these products. reduced risks.
In separate statements, thePhilippine Electronic Cigarette Industry Association (PECIA) et Vapers Philippines (Vapers PH) urged lawmakers to take note of studies showing that e-cigarettes constitute a "significantly less harmful alternative».
«Heavy taxes on reduced risk products will only encourage smokers to use conventional cigarettes instead of switching to less harmful nicotine products"Said PH Vapors.
PECIA has also requested the organization of a public consultation on the draft tax legislation, which should allow discussion of other measures to reduce smoking.
«PECIA wishes to draw attention to the fact that Congress has not carried out a public consultation on the bill. Our organization could have provided the resources and studies needed to help House representatives understand the tobacco harm reduction strategies adopted by some countries. Said PECIA in its statement.
Bill (HB) 1026, approved at second reading on August 14, increases the excise tax on heated tobacco and electronic cigarettes to 45 pesos (75ct Euro) for 2020 and proceeds to a gradual increase of 5 pesos (10ct Euro) per year, on par with conventional cigarettes. The tax on products containing nicotine salts will increase to 30 pesos per ml (50ct Euro) with an additional annual increase from 5 to 45 pesos until 2023.
However, the version of the bill proposed by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance proposes that steam-based products be taxed at the same rate of 45 pesos per milliliter, with a gradual increase of 5 pesos per year.
According to Vapers PH, the United Kingdom and New Zealand encouraged their citizens to adopt "less harmful nicotine-based products, especially e-cigarettesTo fight against smoking.
«Experts estimate that the remarkable decline in the smoking rate in Japan has been accelerated by the entry of heated tobacco products into the Japanese market in 2014"Said PH Vapers.
THE USE OF THE E-CIGARETTE IS NOT " NOT NECESSARILY BENEFICIENT«
The Under-Secretary of Finance, Karl Kendrick T. Chua, however, said electronic cigarettes and other vaping products should be taxed at the same rate as regular cigarettes because using e-cigarettes is "not necessarily beneficial".
«In the DoH and DoF proposal, the excise tax on electronic cigarettes was increased to 45 pesos in order to bring it in line with regular cigarettes, no matter if they are vaporized, heated or burned, they have the same effect Chua said at the defense committee's first Senate hearing on Thursday.
« A heated tobacco product is basically the same as the burnt tobacco product and should not be taxed differently“, Added Mr. Chua.
Bill HB 1026 is expected to go through final reading this week and could be sent to the Senate by the end of August. According to DoF estimates, this alcohol and e-cigarettes proposal could generate around 52 billion pesos, while the HB 1026 bill is expected to generate 33,3 billion pesos by 2020.
If the DoH-DoF proposal is adopted, the measures as well as the recently adopted excise tax on tobacco products will help reduce the financing gap of Universal Health Care (UHC) from 10 billion to 62 billion pesos in 2020.