Health group: Why treat HTP different from vapes, e-cigs?

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    WHILE welcoming the passage of a measure that will impose higher taxes on “sin products,” the Sin Tax Coalition yesterday questioned unequal rates imposed on heated tobacco products (HTPs) as compared to electronic cigarettes and vapes.

    Sin Tax Coalition co-convenor Dr Anthony Leachon said they are puzzled over the decision of lawmakers to impose higher taxes on vapes and e-cigarettes than HTPs.

    “While the Senate correctly addresses the taxation of electronic cigarettes, which have been in the global news because of the surge of diseases associated with them, it, however, belittles the harm that heated tobacco products can do by taxing the latter at a much lower rate,” Leachon said in a statement.

    “This dissonance in tax rates for tobacco creates the impression that the law is favoring the interests of those manufacturing the heated tobacco products,” he added.

    Leachon said this goes in contrast with the idea that HTPs, vape, e-cigarettes, and even traditional cigarettes must be equally made less accessible to the public.

    “The law is clear that taxation of manufactured tobacco products, regardless of type, price, and brand, must be unitary; that is, having a single rate,” he pointed.

    “In this regard, the tax on heated tobacco products must be equivalent to the electronic cigarettes and the traditional cigarettes,” added Leachon.

    Under the approved measure, HTPs will have an added tax of P25 per pack in 2020, will have a uniform increase of P2.50 every year until 2023, and will be followed by a five percent indexation.

    Vapes will have an additional tax of P45 per 10 milliliter in 2020, and will have an increase of P5 every year until 2023.

    Salt nicotine e-cigarettes, meanwhile, will have a P37 additional tax in 2020, and will have an additional tax of P5 per year until 2023.