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Proposed excise tax on ENDS in Kenya ‘retrogressive’, experts warn

By 27 May 2022Jun 30th, 2022No Comments

Kenya’s Finance Bill 2022 proposes more than doubling the excise duty on alternative nicotine products

Kenya’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani, has proposed to add an excise tax on liquid nicotine to Sh70 ($0.60 cents) per milliliter in an attempt to prevent youth access to alternative nicotine products.

However, the sin tax is laced with unintended harms. Joseph Magero, Chairman of the Campaign for Safer Alternatives, has warned that it would deprive Kenyan smokers of a lifeline to safer alternatives. They would be faced with the option of either returning to cigarettes, or resorting to illicitly traded, unregulated products.

“Doubling the tax on vapes and nicotine pouches is the opposite of a cash cow. If anything, it will drain more money from the Treasury by forcing vapers into the black market”, Mr Magero said.

“Already, Kenya’s sky-high vaping taxes have created a thriving black market for vape products, with many shops selling un-taxed vapes in broad daylight”, he added.

The Africa Harm Reduction Alliance (AHRA) has been involved in a similar situation in South Africa, where their Treasury has also proposed an excise tax on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). AHRA’s founders, Dr Delon Human and Dr Kgosi Letlape, who are physicians and veterans in the mission of helping smokers quit or switch to safer alternatives, wrote a detailed and referenced response to the South African government. Many of the same arguments apply to this proposed excise tax in Kenya. AHRA remains open to respectful dialogue on these complex policy decisions.

AHRA Response to ENDS Tax


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