Bangkok is planning to introduce a tobacco tax of up to 10 satang per cigarette, according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (there are 100 satang in a Thai baht). The BMA announced this week that this will be the first time Bangkok will impose a tax on tobacco, which will push the price of cigarettes up by 1.86 baht per pack.
The tax, known as “Tobacco Tax for Local Maintenance” is intended to help limit consumption of tobacco, according to permanent secretary of the BMA Suthathip Son-iam. The tax money will be used “for maintenance of Bangkok city”.
Anti-smoking advocates have shown their support for the proposed tobacco tax, which has been in the pipeline for many years. Other locations in Thailand have been collecting taxes on tobacco products since 2003, but Bangkok has never implemented such a tax, despite efforts by various politicians and anti-smoking activists.
Companies from elsewhere in Thailand have previously stored their cigarettes in warehouses in Bangkok prior to distribution to other provinces to avoid paying taxes.
In order for the tax to come into effect, amendments must be made to the law, explained Suthathip…
“The new tobacco tax can be announced after the city finished amending the Bangkok Administration Act of 1985 to include tax collection and other related clauses under the Plans and Process of Decentralisation to Local Government Organisation Act of 1999.”
Previous attempts to amend the act in 2016, 2017 and 2020 were struck down because they targeted too many sectors, according to the Bangkok Post.
President of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation Prakit Vathesatogkit suggested that candidates in the city governor election should address the tobacco tax in their election manifestos.
A date for the tax’s introduction hasn’t yet been set because the proposed tax must be approved by the Cabinet before it comes into effect.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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