HEALTH

Budget 2022/23: State hikes tax on E-cigarette products

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani read the budget estimates on Thursday at Parliament buildings.

In Summary

•Tobacco kills about 9,000 Kenyan users every year, according to the Ministry of Health.

•If the current budget 2022/2023 is passed, Treasury CS Yatani proposed to change the taxation regime from the current sh.1 per unit to sh.70 per milliliter.

National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani outside Treasury Buildings moments before he presented the 2022-2023 Budget in Parliament on April 7, 2022.
National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani outside Treasury Buildings moments before he presented the 2022-2023 Budget in Parliament on April 7, 2022.
Image: ENOS TECHE

In recent years innovation in the tobacco industry has led to an increased rise in the use of the e-cigarette.  

If the current budget 2022/2023 is passed, Treasury CS Yatani proposed to change the taxation regime for liquid nicotine from the current shillings per unit to an excise duty of Sh70 per millilitre.

This move will be made in order to curb the "easy availability" of liquid nicotine used in the devices to school-going children and the youth.

“Nicotine addiction is growing in Kenya and the use of these products leads to nicotine addiction and consequently smoking and use of other drugs," he said

"In financing, this kind of “science”, the industry’s motive is of course financial gain, power and influence and not the health of our young ones.” 

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the world.

In Kenya, it is responsible for the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, chronic lung diseases, and heart diseases.

A woman holds the e-juice used for vaping
A woman holds the e-juice used for vaping
Image: HANDOUT

Tobacco kills about 9,000 Kenyan users every year, according to the Ministry of Health.

An e-cigarette, also known as e-cig, e-cigar or vape pen, is a long tube that usually resembles a cigarette, pen or pipe. E-cigs have a mouthpiece, a heating element, a rechargeable battery and electronic circuits.

The e-cig is a battery-operated device that emits doses of vaporised nicotine, or non-nicotine solutions, for the user to inhale.

It aims to provide a similar sensation to inhaling tobacco smoke without the smoke.

As the user sucks on the mouthpiece, a sensor activates a heating element that vaporises a flavoured, liquid solution held in the mouthpiece.

The person then inhales the aerosol, commonly known as vaping.

The solution is also known as e-liquid or e-juice, and it is made by extracting nicotine from tobacco and mixing it with a base and flavouring.

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