WHO Calls for Hike on Cigarette Taxes

January 13, 2017 International Tax Cooperation

Cigarette taxes should be hikedGENEVA – More than 66 million smokers worldwide would drop the habbit, if excise taxes on cigarettes were bumped up slightly.

Minor increases in the taxes levied on the sale of cigarettes worldwide could raise billions in extra tax revenues, while also saving millions of lives, according to the results of a new study released jointly by the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

It was estimated in the report that smoking results in approximately 6 million death each year, and carries a global financial burden equivalent to USD 1 trillion in healthcare costs and lost productivity.

It is estimated that global excise taxes on tobacco generated USD 269 billion between 2013 and 2014, and less than USD 1 billion of the collected total was diverted to tobacco prevention programs.

In the report it was claimed that if the global average level of excise taxes on tobacco was raised to USD 0.80 per pack, then tax revenues would rise by 47 percent worldwide, leading to a 42 percent hike in cigarette prices, and, subsequently, lead to 66 million people quitting smoking entirely.