Increase Prices to Reduce Tobacco Use, WHO to Governments

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Kunwar Prithvi Singh Chauhan
Part time journalist, full-time observer. Editor-in-Chief at The Indian Wire. I cover updates related to business and startups.

Worldwide consumption of Tobacco is worth 1 Trillion USD (Approx 68 Lakh Crore Rupees). According to a recent report by World Health Organization and US National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Policies including higher prices and increased taxes can help governments collect huge revenues which could be used in activities related to health and development.

The report states that the annual excise revenue generated from cigarettes could be increased by almost 50% if all the countries increase excise duty per packet to $0.80 (INR 55). The report also adds that the suggested price change will increase the retail price of cigarettes by around 40% and there will be as many as 66 million fewer adult smokers.

Citing an example of 2013-2014, the report said that a total of 269 Billion USD (INR 18.4 Lakh Crores) was collected globally as excise taxes from cigarettes, out of which, less than 1 Billion USD was spent in Tobacco control programs.

Talking about Indian scenario, government has taken a lot of primitive measures from stopping the tobacco use. The measures include a pictorial warning on 85% of the surface area of the tobacco packet as well as increased rates. India sees over 35% of the total adult consume any form of Tobacco and at the same time, over 5500 Youth start using it every day.

Currently, 6 million people die of tobacco oriented diseases every year and most of them are from developing countries. An estimate suggests that Tobacco related deaths will increase to 8 million annually by 2030.

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