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Major health, development and economic gains from tobacco tax increases

A study finding published by the World Health Organization recently reveals that tobacco tax increases can prevent millions of smoking-attributable deaths throughout the world and contribute to the achievement of global health objectives.

The study points out that tobacco tax increases can provide the fiscal resources needed to finance development priorities, particularly in low and middle income countries.

According to the researchers, raising cigarette excise by USD $.80 per pack in all countries would impact;

The average retail price of cigarettes to increase by 63 percent in low income countries, 25 percent in high income countries and 42 percent globally;

The adult daily smoking rate to decrease by 9 percent;

Fifteen million fewer smoking attributable deaths among the adults who were alive in 2014. Most of the deaths averted would be in low and middle income countries;

The amount of cigarette excise revenue generated globally would increase by 47 percent, generating an extra US$ 141 billion in revenue.

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 6 and its guidelines obligate Parties to adopt and implement tobacco price and tax policies that will reduce demand of tobacco products.

The WHO study was conducted to investigate the potential for tobacco taxation to contribute to the 2030 agenda for sustainable development by reducing tobacco use, saving lives and generating tax revenue.

The researchers developed a simulation model of the global cigarette market using data for 181 countries that together represented 98 percent of the world’s smokers.

The model projects the impacts of excise tax increases on retail cigarette prices, cigarette excise revenue, the rate of daily cigarette smokers, and the future number of smoking-attributable deaths averted among adults globally in 2014.

Source of information: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, USA

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