Annual Tax Collected on Tobacco Product Sales and Whether This Covers Cost of Treating Smoking-related Diseases07 Feb 2023
Parliamentary Question by Mr Yip Hon Weng:
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) for the last three years, what is the average annual tax collected on tobacco product sales; and (b) whether this amount is able to cover the current average annual cost of treating smoking-related diseases.
Parliamentary Reply by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong:
Between FY2019 and FY2021, the Government collected about $1.3 billion of tobacco duties per year on average.
The costs of smoking extend beyond the direct healthcare costs of smoking-related illnesses, and also include indirect costs such as productivity losses for the economy.
We take these costs into account in the setting of tobacco tax rates. Our aim is not so much to raise sufficient revenue to cover the costs of smoking, but to have an effective system of taxation that will reduce tobacco consumption and its accompanying negative effects. Taxes are also part of a broader multi-pronged approach to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in Singapore, including through measures like public education, provision of smoking cessation support services, as well as the control of tobacco advertising and sales of cigarettes to minors.
The Government regularly reviews the tobacco tax rate, including reviewing trends in smoking prevalence, to ensure its continued effectiveness in discouraging tobacco consumption.