Taxing harm reduction

Bangladesh’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year is expected to bring bad news for electronic cigarette users, according to a story in The Dhaka Tribune.

The newspaper said the government was planning to raise duties on the import of these products and e-liquids.

The Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith is said to have proposed raising customs duties on both e-cigarettes and e-liquids to 25 percent from the existing 10 percent.

He is said to have proposed also the imposition of a new 100 percent supplementary duty on these two items.

According to the minister, the duty hike was being proposed because e-cigarettes, like bidis and cigarettes, were hazardous to health.

“The use of e-cigarettes is increasing day by day as it has become very popular among the young smokers from comparatively wealthy families,” Muhith said in his budget speech on Thursday.