Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

The Best Way To Quit Smoking?

Bangkok – Higher taxes on tobacco are the most effective way for governments to combat the health and social costs of smoking, experts attending a World Health Organisation (WHO) meeting said on Tuesday.

“Higher taxes on tobacco lead to higher prices for tobacco products, which immediately discourage non-smokers from starting and current smokers from continuing with the habit,” said Bungon Ritthiphakdee, director of the Bangkok-based Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance.

That conclusion was shared by other experts and government officials attending this week’s meeting in Bangkok on WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The World Bank recommended that governments impose taxes above 65 percent, which is the level, according to studies, at which smoking goes down but government tax revenues from the tobacco industry continue to go up.

Thailand, which boasts some of the most progressive anti-smoking policies in Southeast Asia, is a case in point.

“Between 1993 and 2007, Thailand increased tobacco taxes eight times, from 55 percent to 80 percent,” said Dr Paiboon Wattanasiritham, former chairperson of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. “The number of packs sold decreased from 2,1 million packs in 1993 to 1,9 million packs in 2007.”

“And yet, as cigarette sales tumbled, tax revenue from these sales rose from 15-billion baht ($484-million) in 1993 to 41-billion baht in 2007,” the doctor added. – Sapa-dpa

Published on the Web by IOL on 2008-04-01 09:01:42

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>