The WHO is urging governments to raise tobacco taxes, as this is a very low cost and extremely efficient method of decreasing the demand for tobacco.
According tot the WHO Report on the global tobacco epidemic 2015, raising tobacco taxes is one of the least implemented anti-tobacco measures worldwide, despite the fact that it is basically effortless, costless and that it has been proven to be extremely effective in the reduction of smoking rates.
The money that is gained through raising the tobacco taxes could be used for good purposes, such as the fight to prevent smoking and funding medial research that might discover new specialized methods of fighting tobacco-related illnesses, that range from emphysema to lung cancer.
According to the data gathered by WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the “MPOWER” package has proven to be the most successful joint method along the years, as it has generated promising results. MPOWER is an acronym and it stands for:
- “Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
- Protect people from tobacco smoke
- Offer help to quit tobacco use
- Warn people about the dangers of tobacco
- Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
- Raise taxes on tobacco”, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The 2015 report has discovered that out of these six measures, that regarding raising taxes on tobacco has been the least implemented worldwide. Therefore, the WHO is urging governments to change this fact and enforce higher taxes. On one hand, this could drastically curb the demand for tobacco, as a raising the prices for cigarettes has the potential to stop a great many people from smoking, or at least to lower the smoking rates.
On the other hand, this method would also raise money for the government to fund medical research and to support those who have been developed smoking-related illnesses.
Furthermore, there is promising precedent that proves that this is an extremely valuable asset in the fight against tobacco. Countries like China and France are living proof that smoking rates could be lowered if the price is raised in the name of providing forced assistance to people.
Despite their obvious protest, some of them will go on smoking, but maybe just a little bit less, due to the high price. Others however will quit altogether, either because the cannot afford it any more, or because they do not regard smoking as being worth the investment.
Hopefully, a great many governments will act on the WHO’s suggestion and raise tobacco taxes, so that we may all have a cleaner, healthier tomorrow.
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