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Parliamentary Replies

Impact of E-Cigarettes Ban on Potential Loss in Tax Revenue

10 Jan 2024

Parliamentary Question by Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) whether the potential loss in tobacco tax revenue has been a factor in the decision by the Government to ban e-cigarettes; and (b) what are the practical limitations to introducing an equivalent nicotine tax on e-cigarette products, were they to be made legal.

Parliamentary Reply by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong:

The Government’s decision to ban the use of e-cigarettes in 2018 was based on public health considerations, to protect our population from the harms of these products. The potential loss in tobacco tax revenue from the reduced consumption of tobacco products was not a factor in this decision. 

If Government were to legalise and tax e-cigarettes, the challenges would be similar to those we encounter for cigarettes and other tobacco products today. In any case, the Government has no plans to change our current approach, as our priority is to protect the health of our population and prevent e-cigarettes from causing harm to our people, especially to younger Singaporeans.