By OMAR RIDZUAN
DURING Budget 2021 earlier this month, the government had slapped a surprise tax on vape.
Effective January 2021, all smoking equipment and liquids including e-cigarette and vape will be slapped with a 10 percent tax.
Industry observers said this will tighten the noose on an already waning sector.
CPA Australia counsellor member Surin Segar said this is the first step taken by the government before regulating the vape industry.
“Not much is known on the adverse impact of vaping.
“What are its side effects? What is the content of the vape refill? Is it harmful or not to consumers?
Who are the suppliers? Where does it come from?
Speaking to BebasNews.com, Surin said thus it did not come as a surprise that the vaping industry was taxed during Budget 2021.
“I suspect this is the first step before the vape industry will be regulated to protect the consumers and the rakyat as a whole.”
Another tax consultant at PwC said the 10 percent tax is an added avenue for the government to collect “lost” tax.
“The government lost RM5 billion last year from illicit cigarettes and smuggling activities.
Thus to make up for that loss of revenue income, the government has the option to slap tax on the vaping industry,” said the tax consultant.
A vape seller Faizul Azam said the vape industry will face tough challenges ahead due to the tax.
“The vape industry boomed five, six years ago but the fad has died down.
“It is not as popular as it was four or five years ago.
The prices of the refill is already exorbitantly high.
“I suspect, with the tax, many vape businessmen will face challenging times ahead,” Faizul told Bebas.news.com.
But regulating the sector would be a good thing for consumers because as it is, not much is known on the contents of the refill.
Its prices also vary from as high as RM80 a refill to as low as RM30.
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry must step in to address this disparity.
At the end of the day, the rights of the consumers must be protected.