Enter taxes to curb e-cigarette use
The Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Customs and the State Taxation Administration jointly issued a document on Tuesday saying e-cigarettes will fall on the consumer tax list from Nov 1.
With this development, the manufacturing or importing of e-cigarettes will be subject to 36 percent tax and the wholesale trade to 11 percent.
This is a rather praiseworthy move considering the hazards e-cigarettes pose to public health. Many sellers might say there is no evidence to suggest e-cigarettes are as harmful as traditional cigarettes, but in fact there is plenty of evidence to suggest so.
Further, e-cigarettes come in, among others, chocolate and mango flavors, helping lure children and other minors; even some adults are getting hooked on it. Because of the hidden dangers associated with them it is fair to say that e-cigarettes are, in fact, more harmful than traditional cigarettes.
That's why the government is trying to control the use of e-cigarettes just the way it is controlling the use of traditional cigarettes. The national regulation on e-cigarettes issued in May talks of regulating e-cigarettes like traditional ones. The principle applies to taxation too.
Official data show that the global e-cigarettes market grew from $16.1 billion in 2016 to $45.3 billion in 2020, with China's market size reaching 116 billion yuan ($15.96 billion) in 2021. The market's quick growth might be good for sellers, but is definitely bad news for public health.
That's why taxing e-cigarettes just the way traditional cigarettes are taxed is a fair move. Curbing smoking will help more people remain healthy and save money under the national medical security fund. People can avoid falling ill by giving up smoking, and the government's price mechanism can hasten people's decision to quit smoking.
At this rate, a smoking-free world seems more attainable with each passing day.