Pyrrhic victory

    The Israeli Knesset’s Finance Committee has approved a measure to tax heated-tobacco products such as Philip Morris International’s IQOS at 65 percent of the retail price, in line with the tax on cigarettes, according to a story by Chana Roberts for Arutz Sheva, relayed by the TMA.
    Anti-smoking groups Avir Naki and Smoke Free Israel, and bipartisan members of the Knesset (MK), had been lobbying the Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and the Finance Committee head Moshe Gafni to tax these products.
    The groups and the Likud MK Yehuda Glick had asked the Supreme Court to force Kahlon to tax IQOS as cigarettes “until there is substantial, and substantiated, proof that IQOS are not as harmful as regular cigarettes.”
    The new tax is expected to generate NIS120 million (US$34. million) annually.
    Meanwhile, PMI was said to have emphasized that the company would concentrate on ‘rolling tobacco’ instead of products claimed to be a ‘better alternative’ to regular cigarettes.