Raise Taxes on Cigarettes, Other Tobacco Products: WHO

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The World Health Organisation has urged governments around the world to increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products to save lives.

Tobacco kills approximately 60 lakh people annually, 20% of them live in the South-East Asia region, including India. The region also accounts for 25% of the world’s smokers and almost 90% of smokeless tobacco users.

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia Region, on Tuesday said stronger initiatives and focused cessation efforts were required. “Improved tax measures, stronger law enforcement and enhanced cessation efforts are urgently needed in the region to protect people against the ill-effects of tobacco which continues to be a major public health issue,” she said.

WHO released a report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2015, on Tuesday.

Recent estimates show that there are about 24.6 crore smokers and 29 crore smokeless tobacco users in the region.

Source: The Times of India (link opens in a new window)

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