BAT (4162): BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO MALAYSIA BHD lauds Budget 2022 for reduced-risk products, but urges caution on excise rate
KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 29): British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT) has lauded the government's announcement to legalise nicotine vapour products.
The government will extend the excise duty imposed on premixed sugary beverages as well as impose excise duty on all vape and electronic cigarette products in order to compel Malaysians towards a healthier lifestyle.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz announced the sugar tax expansion and excise duty for e-cigarette products when tabling Budget 2022 on Friday.
According to BAT, the introduction of excise duty for nicotine vapour products is a step in the right direction for tobacco harm reduction in Malaysia.
"Regulation will not only allow vape users access to reduced-risk alternatives to smoking but also ensure the products used are compliant to quality and safety standards," said the group in a statement on Friday.
However, BAT is of the opinion that any taxation framework for reduced-risk products must be well considered and encourage switching from traditional cigarettes and not drive consumers to cheap, unregulated black market alternatives.
"If not, the mistakes of high tobacco excise rates will be repeated where currently the government loses RM5 billion annually," it added.