In a decision that expands Saudi Arabia's 2017 "sin taxes," the country recently announced a new excise levy on electronic cigarettes and sweetened drinks, Al Arabiya reported

The latest decision came into effect on Saturday after it was announced by the kingdom's General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) on May 15. The authority said a 100 percent tax will be imposed on e-cigarettes and related products, and a 50 percent tax on sugary drinks.

The selective taxes fall into a category of levies imposed on products deemed harmful to public health.

After news of the latest additions to taxes started making the rounds online, some circulated false reports claiming the most recent levies will raise existing taxes on tobacco products and soft drinks.

These reports were quickly refuted by GAZT, who stressed that the decision to tax e-cigarettes and sugary drinks has no effect on previously taxed products and will not increase their prices.

Saudi Arabia implemented its first taxes in 2017

In June 2017, the kingdom became the first Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country to impose a 100 percent excise tax on tobacco products and energy drinks, in addition to a 50 percent tax on soft drinks. 

The country's GAZT announced the decision, which came just a few days after the General Secretariat of GCC ratified the tax treaties. 

The taxes came during a period of transformation in the kingdom and aimed to help diversify sources of income under Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman's Vision 2030At the time, experts estimated excise tax revenues will reach between 8 to 10 billion riyals ($2.1 - $2.7 billion) within six months of their implementation. 

In 2018, Saudi Arabia imposed a 5 percent value-added tax (VAT) for the first time in its historyAt the time, the UAE also implemented a similar tax. 

Both decisions came within the framework of a unified agreement endorsed by the member states of the GCC.