Health groups seek higher taxes on e-cigarettes

Health groups seek higher taxes on e-cigarettes

MANILA, Philippines — Health advocates on Wednesday called on lawmakers to immediately pass a measure imposing higher taxes on electronic cigarettes, and cited studies which showed that this alternative to tobacco “still contain most of the chemicals” commonly found in traditional cigarettes.

“Necessary precautions must be taken before we are again faced with a generation plagued with illness due to tobacco use,” said Dr. Anthony Leachon, coconvener of the Sin Tax Coalition.

The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the case of nearly 200 e-cigarette users who contracted severe respiratory illnesses following the death of a patient due to vaping.

Under Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s Senate Bill No. 987, the tax rate for heated tobacco and vapor products will be P45 starting next year, and will increase by P5 each year until it reaches P60 in 2023. A 5-percent annual increase will be imposed thereafter.

E-cigarettes, have become popular with the youth because of their varied flavors.