High Vape Tax Causing Business Owners To Fight Back

A number of business owners have called for the rejecting of a 100 per cent tax on vape juice.

The request was made yesterday amid critical talks held between little and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry to examine a wide range of obstacles confronting the sector.

In the meeting, chaired by Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Alzayani, the gathering of vape store owners highlighted the effect the excise tax, which was enforced with no notice earlier this month, has had on neighborhood businesses.

"Vape shops are feeling the heat since the excise tax on vape juice was introduced and we continue to resist any increase in price that will affect our customers," one businessman, who attended the meeting, told the GDN on the state of namelessness.

"The minister was supportive of the future of vape industry and its economic potential in Bahrain and encouraged to begin producing the base of vape juices in Bahrain considering we are already a circulation center point in the region.

"The minister has assured us that the issue will be discussed with ministries concerned, and we are presently sitting tight for positive news."

The delegation of business owners called to declassify vape as tobacco and to scrap the 100pc tax because it affected neighborhood businesses.

The GDN reported that the excise tax was implemented on July 4 after numerous owners of vape shops were informed by custom authorities they needed to pay the tax in order to release their consignments.

The Finance Ministry has posted a detailed rundown of items included under the tax, which in December had over 900 items and now has 3,631 items following the consideration of vape juices.

It mentioned the items as "hurtful to human health and to the environment".

The tax on vape juice is applied at 100pc on retail price like tobacco items.

For example, Vampire Vape Pinkman 60ml that is sold for BD6 has now a BD6 tax, making its "current normal price" at BD12, while No.1 Creamy Tobacco 60ml that was BD6 is presently BD12 post the new levy.

The juice or e-juice is the liquid used in vaporisers to create vapor. It comes in different flavors and nicotine levels and is made of propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerine (VG) sustenance enhancing, water and nicotine (in some cases without).

The issue is being widely talked about via web-based networking media with many expressing that vape ought not be classified as a tobacco item.

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