Cigarette Taxes Need to be Hiked Worldwide

July 8, 2015 International Tax Cooperation

GENEVA – Tax hikes are one of the most effective ways of encouraging smokers to quit the habit, but not enough countries are taking the opportunity to use hikes to reach this goal.

In a new report issued on July 7th the World Health Organization claimed that too many governments around the world are not levying enough tax on the sale of tobacco and cigarettes.

According to the information in the report, 33 countries currently levy enough taxes on the sale of cigarettes for at least three quarters of the final sale price to be comprised of taxes.

The 75 percent mark is the minimum standard used in the report to gauge whether any given country is effectively using tax measures to encourage people to cease smoking.

It was noted that in 2008 only 22 countries had high enough taxes to be seen as adequately fighting smoking, but that number had risen by 11 in 2014, when the data for the report was sourced.

The WHO claimed that raising taxes is an easy and low-cost solution to help lower smoking, and it was further noted that recent evidence from tax hikes in China and France prove that adequately raising taxes has a beneficial effect on encouraging smokers to quit.

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