Taxes on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products are not nearly high enough
That these ‘novel’ tobacco and nicotine products are to be taxed is welcomed, but their harm is not reduced by this move, writes Sam Filby
South Africans will soon pay more for “novel” tobacco and nicotine products. This follows last month’s budget speech in which the finance minister announced that: “In line with department of health policy, we will start taxing heated tobacco products (HTPs), for example, hubbly-bubbly. The rate will be set at 75% of the rate of cigarettes. Electronic-cigarettes, or so-called vapes, will be taxed from 2021.”
The Treasury defines HTPs as products that “produce aerosols containing addictive substances and other chemicals that are inhaled by users”. Examples include IQOS by Phillip Morris International and Glo by British American Tobacco (BAT). The Treasury has yet to come up with a definition for e-cigarettes, but notes that: “electronic-cigarettes are different to HTPs: they do not contain tobacco, but they do contain nicotine or other chemicals.” ..