It might sound like an Abbott and Costello comedy routine but it’s no joke. The WHO said cigarette taxes should be raised by every government across the globe. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that an increase on cigarettes and all other tobacco products would not only save a lot of lives but provide a noteworthy amount of additional funds for better health services.
Their report, titled “The Global Tobacco Epidemic 2015″, notes that many governments fail to fully utilize taxes on tobacco products to encourage people to stop or not take up smoking. The document specifies that a minimum of 75 percent of to pack price should be tax.
The organization estimates that every minute one person dies from a tobacco-related disease. This amounts to approximately 6 million smokers a year. They believe the annual total will break 8 million by the year 2030 if stronger measures are not taken to control the “tobacco epidemic”.
There are presently one billion smokers across the world. The WHO notes, however, that a lot of countries have only very low tobacco tax rates. In fact, some countries have none at all.
A noted WHO expert on the prevention of non-communicable diseases, Douglas Bettcher, reported that higher taxes on tobacco products have previously been proven to lower the use of the products and help smokers quit. He said: “Evidence from countries such as China and France shows higher tobacco product prices linked to increased taxes lead to declines in smoking prevalence and tobacco-related harm.”
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan stated: “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.” She concludes that this idea to increase tobacco taxes is “one of the best win-win policy options available for health”.
WHO Says Governments Should Raise Cigarette Taxes