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Big tax hike can reduce tobacco use by one-third and prevent 200 million premature deaths
2014.03.26
In a review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) concluded that hiking taxes by a large amount per cigarette would encourage people to quit smoking (rather than switch to cheaper brands) and help stop young people from taking up the habit.

CRUK had reviewed a number of global research studies and reports analyzing the impact of tobacco tax increase and confirmed that the increase of tobacco tax and consumption were strongly inversely related. It deduced that tripling the price of cigarettes through increased taxes would reduce the number of smokers by one-third by 2025 and prevent 200 million premature deaths caused by tobacco consumption.

At the same time annual government revenues from tobacco tax would be increased by a third from around US$300 billion to US$400 billion globally. CRUK suggested the governments allocating the additional revenue to fund tobacco-control and public health programs, for example, U.S tobacco taxation increase was allocated to expand children’s health insurance in 2009.

The World Health Organization had called for countries to implement appropriate actions, including raising tax, to achieve a 25% reduction in smoking by 2025. In order to further reduce the smoking prevalence to single digit and achieve smoke-free Hong Kong by 2022, COSH urges the government to implement a long-term tobacco tax policy and raise tobacco tax significantly.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine
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