As Philip Morris successfully launched their iQOS last May, and other tobacco companies are following suit, government authorities in South Korea announced that they will be carrying out tests on the product, to rule out any possible health risks.

“Philip Morris has invested about 3.4 trillion won since 2008 in developing a tobacco product that ‘doesn’t burn.’ While anti-smoking policy should of course continue to be implemented, we think as much that it’s our job as a tobacco company to create a less harmful product for those who wish to smoke,” said Chong Il-woo, the managing director of Philip Morris Korea, at a media briefing in Seoul back in May.

Electronic cigarettes are also being scrutinized for their tax exemptions, as they are only taxed approximately 50% to 60% the amount of regular cigarettes.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety aims to verify the tobacco company’s claims that their ‘Heat not Burn’ electronic cigarette is about 90% safer than combustible cigarettes, by measuring nicotine and tar levels. But this is not all, an article on The Korea Herald pointed out that the products are also being scrutinized for their tax exemptions, as electronic cigarettes are only taxed approximately 50% to 60% the amount of regular cigarettes.

“Opposition lawmakers have introduced a revision to existing rules recently demanding a hike on e-cigarettes taxes, arguing that the two types of cigarettes all use tobacco. Their move is supported by the drug safety ministry”, read the article.

Higher tax revenue vs public health

Inline with what many public health experts keep stating, e-cigarette manufacturers said that doubling the prices of the devices due to taxes would be detrimental to public health, since many smokers turn to the products for smoking cessation.

South Korea has been actively fighting smoking. Earlier this year the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea, has successfully implemented a regulation that forces cigarette manufacturers to put graphic images of the harmful effects of smoking on cigarette packets. Imposing a tax and hiking the prices of cessation aides would go against this movement.

Source : The Korea Herald


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4 years ago

Have they looked at regular e-cigs and the fancier vaporizers yet?

James Kim
James Kim
4 years ago

not for health risk but for tax as usual.