Korea to Double Down on E-Liquid Taxes in 2021

The Korean government said Wednesday that taxes on liquids for use in electronic cigarettes, also called “e-liquid” or “vape juice,” will nearly double starting next year.

The “health promotion tax” on nicotine solutions, which are heated in the battery-powered devices to produce vapor instead of smoke, will be raised from the current 525 won (45 cents) to 1,050 won a milliliter, according to a story in the Korea Herald.

The changes to the national health promotion laws were approved by the Cabinet recently, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, which are set to come into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Ministry officials said the revisions are intended to achieve a fairer taxation on varying types of tobacco products. Currently, the tax rate for e-cigarettes is only 43 percent of that for conventional cigarettes.

The ministry warns against the use of e-cigarettes or vaping products, citing global instances of lung injuries associated with their use. The first local case of a suspected illness linked to vaping was reported in October last year.

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