The vape tax on nicotine e-liquid that was supposed to come into effect from January 1st has been postponed in Malaysia. The proposed rate would have tripled the current tax on nicotine e-liquid products. Several consumers and industry leaders opposed the huge tax hike on such products.
The current regulations prohibit the sale of vaping products that contain nicotine, as such products cannot be used for non-medicinal use. However, the health ministry had recently informed the WHO that they plan to legalize vaping products so that the sales of such products can be regulated by the government. In this way, the access of such products to the youth can be controlled to a large extent.
The existing tax rate on the zero-nicotine vape juice is about 0.40 Malaysian Ringgits, and the proposed tax rate stands at around 1.20 Malaysian Ringgits. This accounts for about $0.29 per mL of zero nicotine vape juice. For a regular 60 mL bottle, the tax rate would come to around $17, which is very high when compared to international standards. Many experts believe that the sales of such products in the black market would increase due to high tax rates.
Interestingly, even several medical organizations have opposed the high tax rate on vaping products as they feel that vaping products are less risky when compared to regular smoking. In this regard, the authorities should take a stance after considering the price of high-risk products in the market. However, the good news is that the government is trying to legalize the sale of vaping products in the future.