Call for Higher Tobacco Taxes

Hi Everyone! Hope you are all doing well. Welcome back to another blog. In this blog, we will talk about, Call for Higher Tobacco Taxes. Cigarette smoking and tobacco usage are increasing day by day in this era, and they are proving to be the most injurious to human health. From a survey we came to know that almost 31 million youngsters that is almost 19.7% of the whole population, are indulge in the heavy use of tobacco. This survey count is to warn the government to take strict actions and stop these 19.7% youngsters to stop smoking and take their life and health serious.

A recent study titled “Raising Tobacco Tax Rates to Promote Public Health and Increase Revenue” revealed alarming findings. Moreover, tobacco use caused approximately 337,500 deaths in 2022. This worsens their situation, limiting their ability to fulfill basic needs and obtain essential resources.

The use of this high risk tobacco smoking makes a negative impact on both economy and health. All the non-communable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, chronic lung diseases, and heart conditions, are mostly due to the use of smoking, and results in death. In the survey, it is also mentioned that the cigarette rates are not increases as increase in the rate of inflation, it is just due to the low tax increase rate of tobacco. Almost there is a mild increase in the taxes between July 2019 to February 2023.

Implementing increases in excise taxes on tobacco products has consistently demonstrated its effectiveness in curbing tobacco use. Raising the prices, this approach acts as a strong deterrent, particularly for youth who may consider initiating tobacco consumption. Furthermore, it serves as a powerful incentive for existing smokers to make the decision to quit. Thereby promoting healthier lifestyles and reducing the prevalence of tobacco-related illnesses.

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The study suggests increasing tobacco taxes to Rs. 154 for cheaper cigarettes and Rs. 385 for more expensive cigarettes. Change in the tobacco tax rates results in the decrease of the number of smokers. That’s a good news and lead to rescue the lives of 200,000 smokers, that are the future of our nation. And, from this almost Rs. 27.4 billion increase in the government revenue, that is almost the 25% rise.

The government of Pakistan needs to take immediate action to address the problem of tobacco use, focusing on public health and generating more revenue. Moreover, by implementing the suggested policy changes, the country can make significant strides in reducing the harmful impact of tobacco consumption, saving lives, and ensuring a healthier future for its people, according to the study.


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