(August 19, 2019 – Manila, Philippines) HealthJustice Philippines and Philippine Pediatric Society expressed support for the tax proposals increasing the excise tax rates on heated tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.
“We call on our lawmakers to approve the bill as soon as possible given the entry of big manufacturers of electronic cigarettes in the country. We are hopeful that President Duterte, himself a staunch tobacco control advocate especially during his years as the
Mayor of Davao City, will also certify the measure and sign it into law,” the leaders of HealthJustice and Philippine Pediatric Society urged.
“We fully support House Bill (HB) No. 1026, which aims to raise excise tax rates on heated tobacco products and electronic cigarettes. This bill, if adopted into a law, will introduce a public health measure designed to protect the people, especially the youth, from the
hazards associated with getting hooked on addicting products like heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes,” said Mary Ann Fernandez-Mendoza, President of HealthJustice.
“There are numerous studies proving that high taxes on cigarettes discourage the youth from smoking. This effect will surely apply in the case of heated tobacco products and electronic cigarettes if they are levied with high tax rates” she further said.
The Senate Committee on Ways and Means is also set to conduct on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 a public hearing on the proposed Package 2+ of the Comprehensive Tax Reform which aim to raise excise taxes on electronic-cigarettes and tobacco products.
“The public must be warned of the risks involved in using e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. These still contain nicotine and are highly addictive. There are no studies proving claims that these are ‘safe alternatives’ to smoking. The only real alternative to
smoking is quitting and prioritizing one’s health,” Dr. Riz Gonzalez of Philippine Pediatric Society.
The incremental revenues from the increased taxes will be used to fund the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law, among other public projects. HealthJustice is a think tank with legal expertise in tobacco control and health promotion. It is a Bloomberg Awardee for Global Tobacco Control.
Philippine Pediatric Society is a specialty division of the Philippine Medical Association.
Download here: Press Release – August 19, 2019