Gov’t to tax, regulate e-cigarettes

The government will come up with the tax scheme and regulations covering e-cigarettes and other nontraditional cigarette products in line with plans of tobacco firms to sell them in the country.

“I got a letter from one of the companies saying that they are going to be introducing that product here. We are in conversation with the DOH [Department of Health] on how to handle it,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told reporters late Friday.

Dominguez noted that there were now various types of products and technologies being marketed as alternatives to cigarettes such as vape and “heat not burn” devices, among others.

“We’re trying to see first where the technology is, where it’s going and how to address it. But definitely there will be regulation and taxation involved,” Dominguez said.

While these products are not cigarettes per se, Dominguez pointed out that these were “apparently designed to entice young people to start a nicotine habit.”

Dominguez said these products needed to be taxed as they still affected users’ health even if their manufacturers claimed that they hadless impact on health.

“But there’s another problem—it makes you an addict. What you’re really ingesting there is nicotine. That’s not a good thing to be addicted to,” Dominguez said.

For the part of the DOH, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had already been tasked to come up with an administrative order (AO) for both electronic nicotine and nonnicotine delivery systems.


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