Harm-Reduction

New Jersey Ranked One of the Worst State in the Union for Vaping Regulations

TRENTON, NJ – In an index published Tuesday by the Consumer Choice Center, the state of New Jersey has been named one of the worst U.S. states for vaping.

The Consumer Choice Center’s 2020 US Vaping Index categorizes and ranks each state based on its consumer-friendly regulatory approach to vaping products.

The study authors, David Clement and Yael Ossowski, North American Affairs Manager and Deputy Director of the Consumer Choice Center, said recent actions on flavored vaping products sunk it to the bottom of the list.

The full graph is below:

us-vaping-index.png

“New Jersey is far behind all the other states because of its flavor ban and its exorbitant taxation on vaping products,” said Clement, North American Affairs Manager at the Consumer Choice Center. “Our research indicates New Jersey’s policies deter adult smokers from turning to vaping, which could vastly improve and prolong their lives.”

New Jersey joined the states of New York, California, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island as the worst in the nation with a grade of “F”, while states like Virginia, Colorado, Texas, and Maryland each received “A” scores for more consumer-friendly vaping regulations.

“What lawmakers should note is that a number of states are providing a positive framework of regulation for vaping that boosts consumer choice while contributing to public health by encouraging smoking cessation,” said Ossowski. “Excessive flavor bans, taxes, and prohibitions on online commerce grow the black market sector and harm consumers who want less harmful alternatives to smoking.

“If states want to innovate in 2020 and provide adult smokers with an alternative that is less harmful, they should look to reform their state laws to better accommodate this new technology that is helping millions,” said Ossowski.

Read the full US Vaping Index Here

Originally published here.

A vaping flavour ban sets back public health

Vaping is under attack, and that is bad news for public health and smoking cessation, argue David Clement, Michael Landl and Yael Ossowski.

Vaping has been proven to be an effective harm reduction tool for adults who are trying to quit traditional cigarettes.

It reduces the harms posed by smoking by decreasing or removing the combustion of tobacco altogether, which is why in 2015, Public Health England declared vaping was 95% less harmful than combustible tobacco and began recommending current smokers switch to electronic cigarettes.

Countries like Canada and New Zealand followed their lead helping to save millions of lives. In fact, vaping achieved, in a short period of time, what public health authorities hoped to accomplish in a far greater time span: fewer people smoking traditional cigarettes. 

Despite vaping’s efficacy as a harm reduction tool, it has become a target for politicians and activists, with new regulations, restrictions and bans popping up around the world. Right now the prime target for legislators is flavoured vaping products.

Unfortunately, there are efforts to ban or restrict the sale of flavoured vapes in countries such as the United States and the Netherlands, with several others following their lead. If flavour bans go global, it would be disastrous for public health.

New research from the Consumer Choice Centre and the World Vapers’ Alliance shows that flavours in vapes are essential for helping smokers quit. In our recent policy paper entitled, ‘Why Flavours Matter’ we were able to show that banning flavours would have a profoundly negative effect on society, pushing smokers back to cigarettes or to the dangerous black market.

Two-thirds of current vapers are using some form of flavoured liquids. Vapers prefer flavours over tobacco flavoured e-cigarettes, mainly because flavours don’t remind them of the taste of cigarettes.

Because of this, researchers at Yale concluded that vapers who use flavours are 2.3 times more likely to quit smoking than those using tobacco flavoured e-cigarettes. It is reasonable to assume that restrictions and bans on flavours will significantly limit the usefulness of vaping as a cessation tool and will drive vapers back to cigarettes, which is nothing worth celebrating.

“While proposed flavour bans are well-intentioned, they have disastrous outcomes. Legislation on vaping flavours must take the facts of smoking cessation and harm reduction into account, and we urge legislators against the widespread implementation of such bans”

Our research looked the impact a flavour ban would have across nine countries. If enacted, in the US alone, 7.7 million vapers could switch back to smoking. In the Netherlands, a quarter of a million vapers could revert back to smoking if nothing is done to stop flavour bans.

In Germany, 1.3 million people could switch back to cigarettes with a flavour ban in place. That’s about the same number of people as the population of Munich. In France, 1.6 million smokers could re-emerge if a flavour ban is in place. That’s nearly the population of Paris.

Another option for vapers who prefer flavours is to resort to the black market. Flavour bans could balloon the illegal market for vapes. Because of the ban on flavoured vaping products in Massachusetts, the market for illicit products is expected to reach $10bn.

Flavour bans have driven some to create vaping liquids in their own homes without any legal oversight, developing unregulated and potentially dangerous products. These illegal sales are outside a state’s tax regime, which means t they lose revenue they otherwise would have acquired if these products were legal.

While proposed flavour bans are well-intentioned, they have disastrous outcomes. Legislation on vaping flavours must take the facts of smoking cessation and harm reduction into account, and we urge legislators against the widespread implementation of such bans.

Banning flavours would disproportionately harm smokers who are trying to quit, which runs against the goals of public health agencies. But good intentions in themselves, do not matter; only good outcomes.

Originally published here.

Vaping emerging as smoking alternative

Vaping emerging as smoking alternative

Many smokers in Bangladesh are choosing vaping as a medium of quitting smoking as they consider it a safe alternative to cigarettes.

Physicians in the UK and USA recommend vaping as a quitting tool. 

According to a study conducted by a US-based organisation, the Consumer Choice Center, over 6.23 million smokers in Bangladesh can potentially quit cigarettes and if right measures are taken.

The Center, which works for consumer preferences, conducted the study on vaping in 61 countries. They tried to get an idea about the future expansion of relatively safe e-cigarettes market by reviewing the current regular and irregular vaping rates.

Reviewing the situation of Bangladesh, the organisation said that if e-cigarettes are systematically encouraged by following methods that of the UK, 25 percent smokers may quite conventional cigarettes. 

According to the report of World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2018, Bangladesh has 24.9 million smokers.

According to the research, more than 196 million smokers in 70 countries will be interested in quitting conventional cigarettes if e-cigarettes are encouraged.  

The highest number of smokers may decrease in China. Bangladesh ranks sixth out of 61 countries in this list of smoking quittances.

Organizations who are working in this sector believe that a significant reduction in smoking would have a positive effect on the global health situation. 

According to an article published by the Royal College of Physicians in the UK, an e-cigarette contains a mixture of nicotine, propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine and flavours. 

Although e-cigarettes contain nicotine, however nicotine does less harm than conventional cigarette chemicals (such as tar and carbon monoxide).

Doctors believe that vaping may be one of the most effective ways to quit smoking and suggest that the government take the issue positively, because it gradually reduces the body’s need for harmful chemicals.

Originally published here.

Backing #Vaping to beat #Cancer

The upcoming European Union’s Beating Cancer Plan is a historic chance to improve public health in Europe. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the EU. 1.3 million people die from cancer each year in the EU and 700,000 of those deaths are associated with smoking. Despite these terrifying numbers, approximately 140 million Europeans are still smoking. The European Union is right to tackle the disease with a holistic approach, writes Michael Landl (pictured).

A comprehensive approach needs to include prevention and harm reduction. While it is important that lawmakers do everything, they can to prevent people from starting smoking, it is equally important to support current smokers in their quest to quit. Including e-cigarettes (vaping) in the EU Beating Cancer Plan will help millions of European who are struggling to quit smoking and consequently prevent many deaths associated with cancer from smoking.

E-cigarettes contain liquid which is heated and turned into vapour. There is no tobacco nor tar in e-cigarettes and many of the toxins in cigarettes are not present in e-cigarettes. In 2015, Public Health England declared that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and began recommending that current smokers switch to electronic cigarettes. Countries like Canada and New Zealand followed their lead and have helped save millions of lives. In fact, these policies promoting vaping arguably achieved more in a short period of time than what lawmakers tried to accomplish for years: fewer people smoking cigarettes. 

We know that abstinence is not as effective as alternatives, such as vaping. According to a 2019 study from Queen Mary University London of 100 smokers trying to quit cold turkey, only three to five succeed – while according to the same study, vaping is even more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine-replacement therapy, like patches or gums.

Despite the weight of evidence, a number of governments have considered new restrictions on vaping, rather than make it more accessible. While often well intentioned most newly proposed regulations, such as flavour liquid bans or higher taxes, would disproportionately harm smokers who are trying to quit. This runs directly against the goal of beating cancer.

The EU Beating Cancer Plan is a massive opportunity to ramp up the fight against smoking. Lawmakers should include vaping in the plan as a harm reduction tool to prevent cancer. The European Union’s institutions and governments should follow the lead of countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand and encourage the use of vaping as a less harmful alternative for adult smokers.

If the European Union is serious about improving health, we must back vaping to beat cancer.

About the World Vapers’ Alliance

The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) amplifies the voice of passionate vapers around the world and empowers them to make a difference for their communities. The alliance partners with 19 groups representing vapers worldwide and represents individual vapers. Michael Landl, the WVA’s director, is an experienced policy professional and a passionate vaper.

Originally published here.

Millones de exfumadores podrían recaer si se prohíben los sabores en el vapeo

15 millones de exfumadores peligran volver al tabaquismo si se prohíben los sabores en el vapeo

Una nueva investigación publicada por el Consumer Choice Center (Centro de Elección del Consumidor) y World Vapers Alliance (Alianza Mundial de Vapeadores) muestra que 15 millones de exfumadores de ocho países podrían volver a fumar si se promulgan las prohibiciones de los sabores del vapeo de nicotina.

El informe “Why Vape Flavors Matter?” analizó la situación en 8 países (Estados Unidos, Canadá, Holanda, Polonia, Alemania, Francia, España, e Italia). De acuerdo con este, hay tres consecuencias negativas de prohibir los sabores en el vapeo:

1. La prohibición llevará a los vapeadores a comprar productos de vapeo con sabor en otras jurisdicciones legales;
2. Los vapeadores podrían recurrir a comprar productos de vapeo con sabor en el mercado ilegal;
3. Los vapeadores podrían volver a fumar.

El análisis también encontró que los vapeadores que usan sabores distintos a tabaco son 230% más propensos a dejar de fumar que aquellos que usan solo sabores de tabaco. 

Reacciones al estudio

Michael Landl, director de la Alianza Mundial de Vapeadores, dijo que “prohibir los sabores tendría un efecto profundamente negativo en la sociedad, empujando a los fumadores de vuelta a los cigarrillos o al peligroso mercado negro. El vapeo es una herramienta muy eficaz para dejar de fumar y los sabores son una parte integral del éxito. La prohibición de los sabores podría hacer que millones de exfumadores volvieran a tomar el hábito”.

David Clement, director de Asuntos Norteamericanos del Consumer Choice Center, añadió: “Lo que queremos que la gente, especialmente los legisladores, reconozcan es que los sabores que se van formando no solo tienen que ver con el sabor y la comodidad para los usuarios adultos: son un factor importante para que la gente deje de fumar de forma tradicional”.

En el informe también se examinan otras consecuencias negativas de la prohibición de los sabores. Estas incluyen acceder a los mercados negros o fabricar sus propios líquidos de vapeo. Esto último puede ser muy peligroso si la persona no cuenta con el conocimiento y los ingredientes adecuados. 

“Sabemos que las prohibiciones de los sabores reavivan los problemas de la prohibición, lo cual es un neto negativo para la sociedad, tanto en lo que respecta a la actividad delictiva como a la seguridad de los consumidores”, dijo Yaël Ossowski, director adjunto del Consumer Choice Center. “A la luz de todas estas pruebas, países como los Países Bajos o Dinamarca deben reconsiderar sus planes sobre las prohibiciones de los sabores y, en su lugar, facilitar al máximo a los fumadores el cambio a alternativas menos perjudiciales en comparación con el tabaquismo”, dijo Michael Landl.

Originally published here.

Brüssel will Raucher und Dampfer wieder zur Kasse bitten

Titelbild

Die EU-weite Tabakmindeststeuer soll erhöht werden, auch das ‚Dampfen‘ betreffend. Geht gegen Einkaufstourismus, der durch noch höhere Steuern aber höchstens auf den Schwarzmarkt abgedrängt würde.

Im Juni billigte der Europäische Rat einen neuen Konsens über Verbrauchssteuern auf Tabakwaren. Die Mitgliedstaaten schlagen Änderungen vor, die den Tabakpreis erhöhen und auch Nicht-Tabakprodukte wie E-Zigaretten betreffen würden.

Seit 2011 gibt es in der Europäischen Union eine gemeinsame Mindestverbrauchssteuer auf Tabakwaren, wodurch sich die Zigarettenpreise in den europäischen Ländern mit vergleichsweise niedrigen Steuer deutlich erhöht haben. Nachbarländer mit höheren Steuern behaupteten, dass grenzüberschreitende Käufe ihre eigenen Ziele in der Gesundheitspolitik untergraben würden. Beispielsweise kaufen deutsche Pendler Tabak in Luxemburg, da der Preis dort niedriger ist als in ihren heimischen Geschäften.

Jetzt, da die Richtlinie von 2011 nicht die Ergebnisse gebracht hat, die einige Mitgliedstaaten erwartet hatten, oder, was eher anzunehmen ist, Steuereinnahmen nicht in der Höhe, die die Staaten in der aktuellen wirtschaftlichen Situation benötigen, wünschen sie eine Revision. Auch wenn Mitgliedstaaten Tabakpreise selbst erhöhen können, bringt jede Erhöhung auch eine Steigerung der Pendlerkäufe mit sich: Besonders deshalb will man höhere Mindeststandards. Hinzu kommt, dass politische Entscheidungsträger bei Kritik zu den neuen Preisen einfach auf Brüssel verweisen können.

„Illegaler Handel korreliert mit einer erhöhten Steuerbelastung.“


Diese Revision bezieht sich nicht nur auf konventionelle Tabakprodukte wie Zigaretten, Schnupftabak, Shisha oder Zigarren und Zigarillos. Zum ersten Mal fordert der Europäische Rat, dass auch Nicht-Tabakprodukte in die Tabakverbrauchsteuer-Richtlinie aufgenommen werden. E-Zigaretten oder Heat-Not-Burn-Geräte stellen Alternativen für Konsumenten von konventionellen Tabakprodukten dar. Einer offiziellen Untersuchung in Großbritannien zufolge sei der Konsum dieser Produkte 95 Prozent weniger schädlich als das Rauchen von Zigaretten. Der Europäische Rat kommt zu dem Schluss, „dass es daher dringend erforderlich ist, den Rechtsrahmen der EU auszubauen, um derzeitige und künftige Herausforderungen in Bezug auf das Funktionieren des Binnenmarkts zu bewältigen, indem die Begriffsbestimmungen und die steuerliche Behandlung von neuartigen Erzeugnissen (wie Flüssigkeiten für E-Zigaretten und erhitzte Tabakerzeugnisse), einschließlich nikotinhaltiger oder anderer Erzeugnisse, die Tabak ersetzen, harmonisiert werden, damit Rechtsunsicherheit und regulatorische Unterschiede in der EU vermieden werden”. Eine umständliche Formulierung für „mehr Steuern”.

Wie ernst ist es den EU-Mitgliedsstaaten mit der Verbesserung der Gesundheit, wenn sie mit ihrer Präventionspolitik die Steuerlast der Verbraucher erhöhen? Eine Untersuchung aus den Vereinigten Staaten zeigt, dass jede zehnprozentige Erhöhung des Preises von E-Zigaretten-Produkten zu einem elfprozentigen Anstieg der Zigarettenkäufe führt.

E-Zigaretten sind eine Sache, aber wir sollten uns nicht von der Vorstellung täuschen lassen, dass eine höhere Besteuerung von Zigaretten jemandem nützt. In den Schlussfolgerungen des Rates selbst wird anerkannt, dass Europa mit einer Welle des illegalen Tabakhandels konfrontiert ist, und es werden mehr Lösungen zu dessen Bekämpfung gefordert. Illegaler Handel korreliert mit einer erhöhten Steuerbelastung: Indem wir einkommensschwache Haushalte mit Zigaretten besteuern, die dennoch ein legales Produkt bleiben, drängen wir sie auf den Schwarzmarkt, wo kriminelle Elemente von einer solchen Gesundheitspolitik profitieren. In Frankreich zum Beispiel wurde in einem Bericht aus dem Jahr 2015 festgestellt, dass das Land mit einem Marktanteil von 15 Prozent Europas größter Konsument von gefälschten Zigaretten ist.

„Wir müssen Gesetzesänderungen nicht nur auf ihre erklärten Absichten hin analysieren, sondern auch auf ihre voraussichtlichen Ergebnisse.“


Da es keine Qualitätskontrolle gibt, stellen diese illegalen Zigaretten eine viel größere Bedrohung für die Gesundheit der Verbraucher dar. Hinzu kommt, dass die Einnahmen aus dem Verkauf dieser Zigaretten dem Terrorismus zugutekommen können – dem französischen Zentrum für Terrorismusanalyse zufolge finanziert der illegale Tabakverkauf sogar 20 Prozent des internationalen Terrorismus. Organisationen wie Al-Qaida und ISIS finanzieren ihre Aktivitäten auf diese Weise.

Die vom Europäischen Rat vorgeschlagenen Änderungen an der Richtlinie über Tabakverbrauchsteuern sind kontraproduktiv. Sie werden die Wahlmöglichkeiten einschränken und die Gesundheit der Verbraucher negativ beeinflussen. Wir müssen Gesetzesänderungen nicht nur auf ihre erklärten Absichten hin analysieren, sondern auch auf ihre voraussichtlichen Ergebnisse.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Harga murah, rokok seludup jadi pilihan

rokok seludup

KUALA LUMPUR 30 Julai – Disebabkan harga yang lebih murah dan mudah diperoleh, pasaran bagi rokok seludup di Malaysia terus laris dalam kalangan perokok di negara ini.

Pengarah Urusan Consumer Choice Center (CCC), Fred Roeder berkata, bilangan rokok haram yang diseludup masuk ke Malaysia adalah luar biasa.

“Pemerhatian kami menunjukkan permintaan bagi rokok seludup adalah tinggi kerana produk haram ini dijual pada harga semurah RM5.00 berbanding produk sah yang dibayar cukai.

“Jika trend ini berterusan, pasaran rokok Malaysia akan sama sekali ditakluki oleh produk haram dan murah hanya beberapa tahun lagi,” jelasnya dalam satu kenyataan hari ini.

Malaysia mempunyai kira-kira lima juta perokok dan sebilangan besarnya adalah mereka yang menghisap rokok seludup.

FRED ROEDER
Fred Roeder

Pasaran rokok haram mencacah 60% berdasarkan jangkaan daripada hasil rampasan yang dijalankan agensi-agensi penguatkuasaan.

Baru-baru ini juga, Jabatan Kastam Diraja Malaysia (JKDM) berjaya mematahkan cubaan menyeludup 456.03 juta batang rokok dari bulan Januari hingga Jun 2020.

Jumlah tersebut menunjukkan peningkatan mendadak berbanding 236.2 juta batang rokok yang dirampas pada tempoh sama tahun lalu.

“Perokok juga mungkin beranggapan produk yang murah dan tidak dibayar cukai adalah bagus untuk poket mereka berikutan kelembapan ekonomi akibat COVID-19,” katanya.

Pengguna juga berdepan dengan beberapa impak negatif seperti produk tiada pematuhan.

Kajian pada 2015 oleh Jabatan Bioteknologi, Universiti Malaya mendapati rokok haram mempunyai kandungan tiga kali ganda tar dan nikotin. 

Produk ini kerap dicemari oleh bahan yang tidak diketahui semasa proses penyeludupan yang mendedahkan pengguna kepada risiko kesihatan yang lebih besar.

rokok seludup

Selain itu, peralihan kepada pasaran rokok seludup juga menjadi pemangkin kepada lonjakan pasaran gelap yang membolehkan pasukan penjenayah meluaskan pilihan produk pasaran gelapnya ke dalam negara.

Ekonomi gelap Malaysia dianggarkan bernilai RM300 bilion termasuk aktiviti pengedaran dadah, produk paslu dan manusia.

Dalam pada itu, aktiviti haram tersebut juga memberi kesan kepada dana awam yang memaksa kerajaan menanggung kerugian tahunan sebanyak RM5 bilion dalam aspek hasil cukai.

Jelas Roeder, pengguna perlu sedar hak dan kuasa mereka setelah mengetahui produk haram tidak memberi manfaat kepada mereka.

“Pengguna Malaysia haruslah menuntut supaya semua pihak berkepentingan seperti penggubal dasar, agensi penguatkuasaan, pengeluar dan peruncit mengambil tindakan tegas dalam membanteras masalah ini secara mutlak.

“Kerajaan juga harus mempertimbangkan untuk melakukan perubahan cukai sebagai langkah mengurangkan permintaan kepada rokok haram di samping mengurangkan beban pihak penguatkuasaan,” katanya lagi.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Cheap Illegal Cigarettes Are Ruining Malaysia, Here’s How

Ask any smoker and they’d tell you that smoking cigarettes is a disgustingly expensive habit.

Costing between RM12 to more than RM20 a pack, after taxes, the average smoker can easily spend more than RM100, a week just, to scratch that nicotine itch.

Because of this high upkeep, it’s no surprise that most Malaysian smokers are turning to cheap, illegally smuggled cigarettes to fulfill their cravings.

According to an international consumer advocacy group, the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), over 60% of Malaysia’s 5 million smokers are regularly consuming illegal cigarettes.

Moreover, it was revealed that Malaysian enforcement authorities had managed to stop more than 450 million cigarette sticks from entering the country between January and June 2020 alone, compared to the over 230 million sticks confiscated over the same period the previous year. Proving that the tobacco black market is flourishing more than ever in the country.

The reason for this is simply because these illegally smuggled cigarettes are way, way cheaper than premium brand buds found over the counter, only costing between RM3 to RM5 depending on where you get them.

Didakwa di mahkamah kerana miliki rokok seludup RM48.16 | Kes | Berita  Harian
A selection of illicit cigarette brands available on the market.
(Berita Harian)

However, these cheap cigarettes do pose more danger to the country than we may have realized.

Healthwise, a 2015 study by University Malaya (UM) revealed that illicit cigarettes have been found to contain three times more tar and nicotine than that permissible by Malaysian law, besides having the tendency to be laced and contaminated by other unknown chemicals and substances, which would probably do untold damage on a smoker and secondhand smoker’s lungs.

Economically, the cigarette black market drains the country out of its tax income. The CCC reports that Malaysia suffers an annual loss of RM5 billion from Malaysian choosing to go for the cheap illegal option.

The existence of such black markets is also detrimental to the country itself, as the income gained from the trafficking and sale of illegal cigarettes inevitably supports criminal gangs and the import of other illicit goods such as drugs, knockoff products, even people.

To address this problem, the CCC suggests a radical reform to the country’s tax on cigarettes.

Given price is a key factor causing consumers to turn to illegal cigarettes, the Government should consider tax and price reforms for tobacco products as a measure to address illegal cigarettes. At the end of the day, reducing the demand for illegal cigarettes by way of tax reforms will also help reduce the sole burden on enforcement in addressing the tobacco black market.

CCC Managing Director Fred Roeder

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Consumer advocates call for tobacco tax reforms as illicit sales boom

KUALA LUMPUR: Global consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Centre (CCC) has warned that the sale and purchase of smuggled cigarettes — which can cost only a third of the price of the legal stuff — will continue to grow barring changes to local tobacco taxes.

In a statement, CCC said black market cigarettes had captured 60% of the market, which caters to an estimated five million smokers in Malaysia.

Fred Roeder, managing director of CCC, called the volume of cigarette smuggling “phenomenal”, adding that their popularity is driven primarily by their low prices.

“Our observation indicates demand for smuggled cigarettes is high because these illegal products are sold as cheap as RM5 (a packet). So, it is no surprise that these cheap smuggled cigarettes have a big demand.

“Smokers may think cheaper and untaxed products are beneficial, especially now when money is tight following the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

CCC claims these illegal cigarettes may often contain up to three times the legal limit of nicotine and tar, which has financial implications on smokers in the long term.

Smuggled cigarettes also cost the government RM5 billion in uncollected tax revenue.

Roeder believes the government should consider tax and price reforms for tobacco products as lower prices for legal cigarettes would reduce demand for contraband.

The illicit cigarette trade is not unique to Malaysia. New Zealand authorities recently nabbed a Malaysian man who attempted to smuggle 2.2 million cigarettes worth NZ$2.72 million (RM7.7 million) into the country.

He faces charges under the Customs & Excise Act.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Les nouvelles règles de l’UE pénaliseront les fumeurs et utilisateurs de cigarettes électroniques

Maintenant que la directive de 2011 n'a pas apporté les avantages escomptés par certains États membres, ou, plus vraisemblablement, n'a pas produit le nombre de recettes fiscales dont les États membres ont besoin dans la situation économique actuelle, ils souhaiteraient une révision.

Dans ses conclusions de juin, le Conseil européen a approuvé un nouveau consensus sur les droits d’accises sur le tabac. Les États membres suggèrent des modifications des règles qui augmenteraient le prix du tabac et affecteraient également les produits non liés au tabac tels que les cigarettes électroniques.

Depuis 2011, l’Union européenne dispose d’un droit d’accise minimum commun sur les produits du tabac, ce qui a notamment entraîné une augmentation du prix des cigarettes dans les pays européens où les prix sont comparativement bas (comme la Pologne ou la Hongrie). Les pays voisins où les taxes sont plus élevées affirment que la prévalence des achats transfrontaliers va à l’encontre de leurs propres objectifs de santé publique. Par exemple, les frontaliers français achètent du tabac au Luxembourg.

Les avantages escomptés ne sont pas au rendez-vous

Maintenant que la directive de 2011 n’a pas apporté les avantages escomptés par certains États membres, ou, plus vraisemblablement, n’a pas produit le nombre de recettes fiscales dont les États membres ont besoin dans la situation économique actuelle, ils souhaiteraient une révision. Cette révision, cependant, ne vise pas seulement les produits du tabac conventionnels tels que les cigarettes, le tabac à priser, la shisha, ou les cigares et cigarillos. Pour la première fois, le Conseil européen demande que les produits autres que le tabac soient également inclus dans la directive sur les accises sur le tabac. Il serait ainsi difficile pour les États membres de prétendre que l’objectif est la santé publique et non la réduction des déficits du Trésor, car l’équivalent logique de cette démarche serait de classer les produits non alcoolisés parmi les boissons alcoolisées.

Les cigarettes électroniques ou les dispositifs “heat-not-burn” représentent des alternatives viables pour les consommateurs de produits du tabac conventionnels. Nous savons que, bien qu’elles ne soient pas inoffensives, ces vapeurs sont 95 % moins nocives que la cigarette. Selon toutes les logiques disponibles, les États devraient se réjouir de la prévalence de ces alternatives. Toutefois, le Conseil européen conclut qu’“il est donc urgent et nécessaire de moderniser le cadre réglementaire de l’UE, afin de relever les défis actuels et futurs en ce qui concerne le fonctionnement du marché intérieur en harmonisant les définitions et le traitement fiscal des nouveaux produits”.

Mauvais signal

L’ajout de droits d’accises aux produits à risque réduit envoie un mauvais signal aux consommateurs, à savoir que ces produits sont tout aussi risqués que les cigarettes. Des recherches menées aux États-Unis montrent que chaque augmentation de 10% du prix des produits à faible risque entraîne une augmentation de 11% des achats de cigarettes.

Dans quelle mesure les États membres de l’Union européenne sont-ils sérieux lorsqu’il s’agit d’améliorer la santé publique si leur méthode de prévention consiste à augmenter la charge fiscale pesant sur les consommateurs ? Les cigarettes électroniques sont une chose, mais nous ne devons pas nous faire d’illusions sur l’idée que taxer davantage les cigarettes n’est pas sans effet négatif. Les conclusions du Conseil reconnaissent elles-mêmes que l’Europe est confrontée à une vague de commerce illicite du tabac, et demandent davantage de solutions pour le combattre. Le commerce illégal est en corrélation avec l’augmentation des charges fiscales : en taxant les ménages à faibles revenus sur les cigarettes, qui restent néanmoins un produit légal, nous les poussons sur le marché noir, où des éléments criminels profitent d’une mauvaise gestion de la santé publique. Un rapport publié en 2015 a révélé que la France était le plus grand consommateur de fausses cigarettes d’Europe, avec 15 % de part de marché.

Un profit pour le terrorisme international

En l’absence de contrôle de qualité, ces cigarettes illégales représentent une menace beaucoup plus endémique pour la santé des consommateurs. De plus, les revenus de la vente de ces cigarettes profitent au terrorisme international – le Centre d’analyse du terrorisme français a même montré que les ventes illicites de tabac financent 20 % du terrorisme international. Des organisations telles que l’IRA, Al-Qaida et Daesh financent leurs activités de cette manière.

Les modifications proposées par le Conseil européen à la directive sur les accises sur le tabac vont à l’encontre des objectifs de santé publique et visent à réduire le choix et la santé des consommateurs. Nous devons analyser les changements de règles non seulement en fonction de leurs intentions, mais aussi de leurs résultats potentiels.

Originally published here.

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(*) https://consumerchoicecenter.org/

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