Singapore increases tobacco tax to reduced consumption

February 2018: SEATCA extends its congratulations to Singapore for its new tobacco tax increase to reduce tobacco consumption starting 20 February. 

SEATCA hopes that the current tax increase will have an effect on higher price of cigarettes in order to discourage especially the young from taking up the habit. The previous study of SEATCA on the Relative Income Price (RIP) of Cigarette in ASEAN (2000-2016)[1] showed the declining trend in all ASEAN countries except the Philippines. In Singapore, the trend was increasing from 2012 to 2014 (RIP from 1.76 to 1.86 percent). However, from 2014 to 2016, there was a declining trend (RIP from 1.86 to 1.82 percent), which can be interpreted that the population in Singapore only spent 1.82 percent of their GDP per capita to purchase 100 packs of cigarette in the year 2016.
Other countries in the ASEAN region must emulate Singapore’s firm commitment to fulfill its obligation to WHO FCTC. Earlier this month, Singapore has banned emerging and imitation tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes. Starting 1 January 2019, it will also raise the minimum age for smoking to 19 and do it progressively every January until 2021 requiring citizens to be at least 21 to smoke.

[1] RIP is the percentage per capita GDP required to purchase 100 packs of cigarettes.