BUSINESS

Proposed legislation seeks equal taxes for heated tobacco products

By Won Ho-jung
  • Published : Jun 27, 2017 - 16:30
  • Updated : Jun 27, 2017 - 17:37
A new bill seeking to apply equal taxes to heated tobacco products as those imposed on combustible cigarettes in Korea was introduced to the National Assembly earlier this month, claiming that all harmful tobacco products must be regulated the same way.

IQOS from Philip Morris International (PMI)

According to the National Assembly‘s Bill Information System, Rep. Kim Kwang-lim of the Liberty Korea Party has prepared bills to revise three laws that govern taxation on tobacco products to allow equal taxation for combustible cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco products, such as the IQOS system launched in Korea this month by Philip Morris International.

Heat-not-burn products are made with tobacco leaves, but are promoted as releasing less toxins because there is no combustion process.

Under current legislation, each pack of combustible cigarettes is subject to 3,323 won ($2.92) in taxes, while each pack of heated tobacco sticks pays 1,588 won. The sums are made up of various taxes such as the excise tax, health promotion fund tax and individual consumption tax.

“This seems to be encouraging smokers to quit smoking combustible cigarettes while encouraging smoking heated tobacco products,” the amendment reads. 

If the three amendments are passed by the National Assembly, each pack of HEETS sticks for the IQOS system will pay an additional 1,350 won in taxes. 

By Won Ho-jung (hjwon@heraldcorp.com)