The recent Malaysian budget 2020 proposed that electronic cigarette products should be taxed which I totally disagree. Although this could be a potential new earning for the government, "e-cigarette" tax will actually lead to higher smoking rates among Malaysians. Some lawmakers insisted that slapping taxes on electronic cigarette products could curb addiction of nicotine among teens, but then again proper law enforcement should be done instead of punishing the electronic cigarette industry. Don't get more wrong, I am not condoning electronic cigarette but it is better compared to the smoking of traditional cigarettes, right?
Before we proceed, do note that electronic cigarette is not the same as vaping!
How E-cigarette: How Does It Work?
Truth to be told, it will be completely impossible to eradicate tobacco use. Hence if we had to put up with either smoking of cigarettes or electronic cigarettes, it would be clear that the latter will be much preferred by a lot of non-smokers. Being a non-smoker myself, I have noticed that since more and more traditional smokers have switched to electronic cigarettes, it feels more comfortable to dine out as the environment has less second-hand smoke. Essentially, I can point out that electronic cigarette has been the saving grace for those who cannot stand the terrible stench and smoke of cigarettes. So yeah~I prefer people to choose electronic cigarettes instead of smoking!
4 Reasons Why Electronic Cigarette Devices Should Not Be Taxed
1. Electronic Cigarette Helps People To Ditch Traditional Cigarettes
It is a fact that puffing an electronic cigarette is less detrimental to your health compared to smoking a traditional cigarette. That is why a lot of smokers have switched to electronic cigarettes as it is the less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes. Unlike smoking, electronic cigarette will not result in combustion, fire, ash or smoke. Since no burning is involved, the levels of harmful chemicals are significantly reduced as well compared to a cigarette. However if electronic cigarette devices are taxed, those who want to quit smoking will continue to do so. Moreover, a lot people who are using electronic cigarette devices will inevitably switch back to smoking traditional cigarettes which is relatively cheaper but more harmful to the health of the smokers and those around the addict. Yes and that means non-smokers like me will suffer.
2. Electronic Cigarette Helps Create an Environment without Second-Hand Smoke
One of the main reasons why I hate cigarette smokers is of course due to the terrible SMOKE! We non-smokers deserve the right to a smoke-free environment. We need to understand that the air that we breathe in is the same no matter where we go. In other words, regardless of where the smoking takes place, the awful stench of cigarette smoke will still permeate the common air that we inhale into our lungs. We-the non-smokers should not be unfairly subjected to the harmful effects of passive smoke in public. Obviously, electronic cigarette does help to create an environment without second-hand smoke for us non-smokers. But if tax is incurred to electronic cigarette devices, rest assured that the air will again be tainted by cigarette smoke. Don't you want a better environment for our children and ourselves?
3. Electronic Cigarette Is Less Intrusive to Our Health & Lifestyle
Unlike the traditional cigarettes, e-cigarette is less intrusive to the health and lifestyle of everyone. I dare say that electronic cigarettes are actually helping us (especially non-smokers) to remain healthier. Why is that so? Let's talk about the smoke from the cigarettes, shall we? It is a well known fact that smoking will increase the risk of heart diseases, cancer and other ailments for smokers. How about us, the non-smokers?
It has also become increasingly clear that second hand smoke will also cause non-smokers to have heart ailments and terminal disease such as cancer. For the record, second hand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and 70 of them are carcinogenic or cancer-causing. The bottom line is that second-hand smoke can also be fatal for innocent bystanders like you and me. Hence when we impose electronic cigarette tax, the health of non-smokers will be affected as well.
4. Electronic Cigarette Devices Are Different From Cigarettes
To compare electronic cigarette devices to cigarettes is totally unfair and for this reason alone, taxes should not be imposed. Lawmakers need to bear in mind that the mechanical device used to heat the tobacco unit for electronic cigarette is completely different from a stick of cigarette. Moreover, to impose tax on electronic cigarette devices will also increase the overall cost of adopting e-cigarette. This in turn will cause more people to turn to smoking which is the more harmful alternative.
We all want an environment without second-hand smoke!
Across the world, countries which have imposed taxes on electronic cigarette devices have seen a tremendous increase in smoking of traditional cigarettes. Policies which are aimed to prevent youth from puffing e-cigarette have actually caused more people to smoke. In other words, electronic cigarette tax has actually encouraged cigarettes smoking. Is that what our government wants to see? Instead of imposing such taxes, the government should focus more on measures and law enforcements to prevent youth from access to nicotine products. It is clear that electronic cigarette is the lesser of the two evils. Therefore, I hereby restate my stand that electronic cigarette devices should not be taxed as I want an environment without second-hand smoke.
Images credit: Shutterstock