• July 9, 2020

E-cigarettes raise taxing question

Quitting smoking in the Philippines might soon become more expensive and, therefore, more difficult because the authorities there are considering the imposition of higher taxes on e-cigarettes, according to a story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

While the benefits of e-cigarettes over tobacco cigarettes were still being debated, Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares of the Bureau of Internal Revenue said tax-wise, both might be considered the same thing.

“[The question is] whether we can already cover [electronic cigarettes] with the present law because it’s just a different permutation of a cigarette,” she said. “It’s still a cigarette. That’s one way to tackle it.”

The use of e-cigarettes is marketed as being one way to help people quit smoking, but the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) last year urged President Benigno Aquino to ban advertisements that suggested e-cigarettes presented a safe way of quitting.

And some health advocates have pushed for a ban on e-cigarettes.