Morocco is preparing to increase taxes on waterpipes, reports Morocco World News.
The country’s Finance and Economic Development Committee approved the new taxes on Nov. 9. Following the increase, smokers would pay MAD675 ($63) per kg of shisha smoking material.
The approval comes after a government amendment to the Finance Bill of 2023 extending the tax base to include shisha without tobacco and electronic cigarettes.
Officials said the measure “aims to preserve the health of consumers, especially young adults, and to protect them against the negative effects of consumption and addiction to these products.”
The statement further explains that the imports of tobacco-free shisha are not subject to taxes, although they carry the same health risks as tobacco-based shisha.
The decision to raise the tax is based on World Health Organization research indicating that smoking products containing a mixture of fruits and herbs without tobacco pose a similar risk to tobacco products.
The WHO recommends subjecting such products to the same restrictions and taxes as tobacco products.
According to the Moroccan government, the European Commission classifies herbal mixtures, aromatic herbs or fruits as smoking products.