The government of Malaysia plans to introduce excise duties on all vapor products containing nicotine, reports Malay Mail.
Without revealing the height of the intended taxes, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the move was to promote a healthier lifestyle among Malaysians.
British American Tobacco managing director Nedal Salem commended the plan, saying it was a right move towards tobacco harm reduction in Malaysia.
“Regulation will not only allow vape users access to reduced-risk alternatives to smoking, but also ensure the products used are compliant to quality and safety standards,” Salem wrote in a statement.
However, he warned the government that any new tax framework must be carefully crafted to ensure it does not drive consumers toward cheaper, less-regulated alternatives.
“If not, the mistakes of high tobacco excise rates will be repeated where currently the government loses MYR5 billion (1.2 billion) annually,” Salem wrote.