Gov't seeks equal tax rate for vape, cigarettes: finance official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2019 10:53 AM | Updated as of Nov 25 2019 12:27 PM

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MANILA – The government wants to raise excise taxes on vape products to match the rate for cigarettes and tobacco, all of which contain "addictive" nicotine, a finance official said Monday.

A law that will raise taxes on cigarettes starting January 2020 needs to be amended to include a P45 excise tax on vape products depending on nicotine content, Finance Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino told DZMM.

Republic Act 11346 will raise excise taxes on cigarettes by P45 per pack next year, P50 per pack by 2021, P55 per pack by 2022, and P60 per pack by 2023.

"Gusto po natin sana gawin nang patas ang tax rate natin sa cigarette, tobacco products at tsaka sa vape products… Alam naman po natin na may nicotine ang mga ito and nicotine is a highly addictive substance," Lambino said. 

(We want to make impose equal tax rates on cigarette, tobacco products and vape products. We all know that they all contain nicotine and that nicotine is a highly addictive substance)

"I-aadjust na po siya kaya sa pagumpisa pa lang ng taon sa 2020 patas na po ang rate sa tobacco products tsaka vape," he added.

(We will adjust even before the law takes effect in 2020, so that the rate for tobacco products and vape will be equal)

The measure also seeks to raise taxes of heated tobacco products, defined by the World Health Organization as an enclosed heating-system that uses heat to “aerosolize” nicotine, to P45 from P10 per pack of 20, Lambino said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier banned vaping in public places and ordered the arrest of violators.