PARENTS, midwives, and health advocates have welcomed the newly imposed taxes on e-cigarettes, vapes, and heated tobacco products.
In a joint statement of the Parents Against Vape Coalition, JCI-Lakambini Davao and Philippine Society of Private Midwife Clinic Owners, Inc. said the measure will protect their children from easy access to these dangerous products.
“We are also happy to note that the law took into consideration the call of the parents from Mindanao to protect our children from the harmful effects of these toxic products by giving power to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the flavors of e-cigarettes and impose further regulations,” the statement read.
The government has hiked up taxes of heated tobacco and vapor products, along with alcohol, in the newly-signed Republic Act 11467 or the Sin Tax Reform Law.
Effective January 1, 2020, heated tobacco products will have an excise tax of P25 per pack of 20 units or packaging combinations of not more than 20 units.
Twenty-seven pesos and fifty centavos per pack of 20 units will be imposed in 2021, P30 in 2022, P32.50 in 2023, and a five percent increase every year starting 2024.
For vapor products with nicotine salt, P37 per milliliter (ml) will be imposed in 2020, P42 in 2021, P52 in 2023, and five percent in succeeding years.
Per 10 ml of conventional “freebase” or “classic” nicotine will be taxed P45 in 2020, P50 in 2021, P55 in 2022, P60 in 2023, and a 5 percent increase from 2024 onwards.
The groups also urged the government to ban the promotion, advertisement, and the sale of the e-cigarettes in areas like malls, convenience stores, and online shops where youth have easy access.
Health thinktank Health Justice also appreciated the move of President Rodrigo Duterte for being “consistent with his pronouncements”.
“We welcome this development. It is consistent with the pronouncement of the President late last year banning the use of vapes in public places,” Health Justice Managing Director Jacky Sarita said in a text message.
He also urged the House of Representatives to strengthen the enforcement of the law through legislation.