Carlos Dominguez, the Philippine finance minister, said on Friday that the country would increase consumption taxes to prevent more people from using e-cigarettes, amid growing global concerns about the health risks of e-cigarettes, but is unlikely to ban the sale and use of such products.
“I don’t think we will ban it,” he said. “Our view is that it already exists, and it is very common in the Philippines and cannot be banned. ”
Domingo said the Philippine parliament is considering a bill that could more than quadruple the tax rate on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. He said some lawmakers recently visited the World Health Organization in Geneva to better understand the health effects of e-cigarettes.
In July, the Philippines began to impose a consumption tax on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, and then quickly proposed a bill to further raise the tax rate. The bill, backed by Philippine President TERT and his economic team, aims to stop the first users of e-cigarettes, especially among young people.