KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — The government is expected to bear treatment costs of approximately RM369 million per year in 2030 for e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (Evali) cases if no legal controls are in place.
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said the Ministry of Finance estimated the revenue from vape taxes to be about RM500 million a year, but research showed that the cost of treatment for Evali was RM150,000 per patient.
“This is expected to increase to RM369 million a year in 2030. If no control is taken through this bill, then more people will be exposed to the risk of disease complications due to the use of e-cigarettes,” she said when winding up debate on Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 in Dewan Rakyat today.
Meanwhile, Dr Zaliha said based on a report titled ‘The Direct Healthcare Cost of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD) in Malaysia’ released in 2022, the total direct healthcare costs of the three selected NCDs — cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and cancer — were estimated at RM9.65 billion in 2017.
She said treatment costs for chronic cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic lung disease due to smoking complications were estimated at RM8.77 billion by 2030.
Dr Zaliha said the cost of the treatment was much higher than the cigarette tax collection which is estimated at around RM2 to RM3 billion a year.
A study in 2019 revealed that smoking was estimated to incur RM275. 3 billion in productivity loss, she added.
On the removal of the Generational Endgame (GEG) clause from the bill, she said the matter would be examined from time to time after the enforcement and monitoring of the impact of the bill on the decrease in smoking prevalence.
The bill was later passed with a majority voice vote after being debated by 27 MPs. — Bernama