A new report released by the World health Organization urges governments to increase compulsory taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products.
The measure is intended to curb tobacco products attributed deaths around the world. While some states have imposed high taxes on tobacco products and cigarettes in particular, others are lagging behind.
Imposing taxes on tobacco products and cigarettes makes sense both economically and to improve health globally. Higher taxes mean drastically higher prices that have been proved to be a powerful incentive to curb smoking and thus the rate of lethal diseases around the world.
The World Health Organization report, ‘The Global Tobacco Epidemic 2015’ showcases numbers indicative of how many governments have taken the extra step to discourage smoking or help those who have taken up the habit quit.
According to the report, the compulsory tax on cigarettes and tobacco products should amount to 75 percent of the price at a minimum.
Around the world, there is one person who dies of a tobacco attributed disease every second. In total, that amounts to 6 million death per year globally. Unless meaningful action is taken, the toll could rise to 8 million deaths by 2030.
The tobacco epidemic as it is titled by the World Health Organization must come to an end if a difference is to be made in the lives of millions of people worldwide. Approximately one billion smokers are stubbornly holding on to the habit worldwide.
Particularly in those countries that are middle to low income and still sport low, affordable prices for cigarettes and tobacco products. In these states, tobacco taxes are either too low to make a difference or are overhauled altogether.
“Raising taxes on tobacco products is one of the most effective — and cost-effective — ways to reduce consumption of products that kill, while also generating substantial revenue”,
stated Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization.
Tobacco related diseases are cancer, diabetes, lung diseases, throat diseases, as well as cardiovascular diagnoses. According to Douglas Bettcher, World Health Organization expert on non-communicable diseases prevention, higher taxes imposed on cigarettes and tobacco products have been proved to be effective in curbing addiction and raise the rates of quitting the habit.
Two telling examples are that of France and China. Since the tobacco tax was drastically increased, smoking and diseases attributed to smoking have significantly declined.
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