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The introduction of a tax on heated tobacco products at 25% less than combustible tobacco over the past two years gives a small nod to harm reduction but is really aimed at reducing overall nicotine consumption. [...] SA Treasury’s Chief Director for Economic Tax Analysis, Chris Axelson, told Medical Brief that a flat tax rate on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) – based on the amount of liquid they contain –has been agreed upon in principle. This will be regardless of whether the ENDS contains nicotine or a non-nicotine liquid. While having a nicotine content baseline was an attractive policy idea, “it just gets incredibly complicated to enforce”.