The new WHO Technical Handbook on Tobacco Tax Policy and Administration shows countries ways they can cut more than $ 1.4 trillion in health care costs and lose productivity due to tobacco use worldwide.
Improved tobacco taxation policies can also be a key component for better construction after COVID-19, where countries need additional resources to respond and fund health system recovery.
“We have launched this new handbook to provide up-to-date, clear and practical guidance to policy makers, financial officials, tax authorities, customs officials and others involved in tobacco tax policy to create and implement the strongest tobacco taxation policies in their specific countries.” , said Jeremias N. Paul Jr, Coordinator of the Department of Tobacco Control Economics in the WHO Department of Noncommunicable Disease Prevention.
“We hope that this document will shed light on the significant benefits of increasing tobacco taxation. The data and insights provided here should open the eyes of policy makers around the world, ”he said.
The ‘best purchases’ highlighted in the handbook not only save money, but also save lives. The human and economic costs of tobacco are rising – 8 million people died from tobacco last year.
Only 14% of the world has enough tobacco tax
In 2018, only 38 countries, which covered 14% of the world’s population, had high enough taxes on tobacco – meaning taxing at least 70% of the cost of these products that are harmful to health. By applying proven policies such as tobacco taxes, the costs that the tobacco industry creates to local communities and the nation can be avoided. It is a victory for the health of the population, income and development.
Increasing the tobacco tax is SMART
Tobacco taxes save lives, mobilize resources, address health inequalities, reduce the burdens and costs of the health system, and target non-communicable risk factors to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).