A report released by WHO (the World Health Organization) urges all the nations across the globe to increase tobacco taxes in order to prevent smokers from buying tobacco products.
Tobacco is one of the main risk factors which contribute to non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and lung and cardiovascular diseases. In 2012 16 million people under 70 years old died because of these diseases and most of them were from middle-income or poor countries.
On Tuesday WHO reported that not many governments use tobacco taxes in such a way as to discourage people from smoking or helping them to give up this habit. The organization recommended that at least 75 percent of the price of cigarettes pack should be tax.
Before the release of the Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2015 the Regional Director WHO South-East Asoa, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, gave the region of South-East Asia as an example for its comprehensive tobacco control program which covers the whole nation. According to the report India, Bangladesh and Maldives have made significant progresses in increasing cigarette taxes between 2012 and 2014.
The United Nations health agency said that there are billions of smokers all over the world, but many countries impose very low tobacco taxes and some countries do not have tobacco taxes at all. The agency also said that every six seconds a person dies from diseases caused by smoking. This means that nearly six million people die every year. Moreover the number is estimated to reach eight million people every year if governments do not take strict measures to control the situation which WHO even considers to be a ”tobacco epidemic”.
Singh explained that among the 6 million people whom tobacco kills annually 20% of them are in areas which account for 25% of the smokers in the world and nearly 90%of smokeless tobacco consumers.
In the report Margaret Chan, the general director of WHO, said that raising tobacco taxes is the easiest and most effective way to reduce smoking while at the same time bringing substantial revenue. She also urged all governments to observe the evidence and adopt one of the best policy options which are beneficial for both sides.
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