With vape tax in mind, Health Ministry pledges to expedite tabling of Tobacco Control Bill
KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — The Health Ministry said it was committed to speeding up the tabling of the Tobacco Control Bill in Parliament in light of the fact that vape containing liquid nicotine will be taxed.
During a press conference today, its minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said that the Bill might not make it to the current session but added that she will try to table it in the next session which is scheduled for this May.
“(We are aware that) that the government is working on the vape tax, but we are working to speed up the presentation of the Tobacco Control Bill.
“Not in this session but as soon as possible, and if it is not possible, then next session, we will try,” she said after attending the Healthy Malaysia National Agenda Cabinet Committee meeting.
Earlier today, it was reported that two associations representing healthcare professionals in Malaysia voiced their opposition to the government’s move to exempt nicotine as a controlled substance under the law ahead of a new taxation against vape products.
In a statement, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) said it had been informed of the possibility of nicotine being removed from the prescription list of controlled substances under the Poisons Act in order for vape-containing nicotine to be sold in the public domain.
Voicing similar concerns, the Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) president Amrahi Buang also called on the government to reject this proposal and to take action to protect public health and safety, further stating the move to exclude liquid nicotine would “send the wrong message to the public”.
In February, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that the government will impose an excise duty on liquid or gel products containing nicotine, with half the revenue to be allocated to the Health Ministry.
When tabling Budget 2023, he said that the liquid or gel products with nicotine — estimated to be worth RM2 billion in potential government revenue — were widely used with electronic cigarettes and vaping, despite this being technically illegal.