KUALA LUMPUR: Vape industry players have called on the government to review the excise tax increase on vapes and electronic cigarettes that could increase the products' prices following the 2022 Budget announcement yesterday.
Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MVIA) president Rizani Zakaria said the expansion of the excise tax on vapes and electronic cigarettes should be low for the products and no more than traditional nicotine items.
"We hope the government can consider reviewing the tax rate that has been set because it is quite high. The increase in tax will make vape products more expensive than tobacco cigarettes in Malaysia.
"Along with economic and industrial developments, the tax rates implemented should be made with proportional risks of the product benefits to the hardcore smoking community.
"A study published by Public Health England found that the effects of vape on health were 95 per cent less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. In fact, vape has been shown to help smokers quit smoking," he said in a statement today.
The tax rate that was set in the budget is RM1.20 for each milliliter of vape liquid and it is effective Jan 1 next year. This rate has been increased from the current rate of RM0.40 per milliliter.
Rizani said the budget announcement by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz was seen by industry players as a beacon of hope to local businesses who want to see the industry flourish at domestic and international levels.
"Imposing tax on nicotine-based vape products is the right move to ensure the development of local vape industry. It also puts Malaysia on the right track in regulating the vape industry," he said.
In the same statement, Malaysian Vape Chamber of Commerce (MVCC) president Syed Azaudin Syed Ahmad proposed the government to review the excise tax rate with industry players before its implementation.
"This tax rate could impact local manufacturers in the vape industry, especially liquid-based vape products, with the (new) rate can push the price as high as RM72 for a 60ml bottle.
"The government should also consider coming up with an ecosystem to regulate and monitor the industry."
Syed Azaudin also said industry players welcomed dialogues and discussions with the government on tax implementation.