Korea’s parliament passed a bill on Nov. 9 to raise the tax on heat-not-burn tobacco products, or e-cigarettes, amid a lingering dispute over whether they should be treated differently from conventional cigarettes.
The revision bill calls for increasing the consumption tax rate for HNB tobacco products -- such as Phillip Morris’ iQOS and British American Tobacco’s Glo -- to 90 percent of the tax levied on ordinary products.
Of the 239 lawmakers present for the vote on the bill, 230 voted for it, with one disapproval and eight abstentions.
With the passage of the bill, the tax on e-cigarettes will rise to 2,986 won (US$2.68) from the current 1,739.6 won.
Currently, Phillip Morris’ iQOS is sold at 4,300 won per pack in Korea. Ordinary cigarettes are sold at 4,500 won for a pack, which includes 3,323.40 won tax.
By Alex Lee and newswires (email@example.com