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WHO wants to Increase Tobacco Costs

Update Date: May 30, 2014 11:27 AM EDT

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths throughout the world. Governments and agencies have worked hard to develop new ways of reducing the use of tobacco. In one of the latest efforts, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it wants to increase taxes on tobacco.

"By raising tobacco taxes," stated Dr. Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. "We can reduce tobacco use and prevent young people from starting to smoke"

The WHO stated that under the agency's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, nations should implement these taxes and use the revenue to fund other health programs focused on reducing smoking rates and promoting healthy lifestyles. The agency added that a tax increase that raises the costs by 10 percent could reduce the rate of tobacco consumption by four to five percent. The call for an increase in taxes came right before the World No-Tobacco Day 2014, which will be observed on May 31st.

"Raising taxes is one of our strongest weapons to fight out tobacco. It is the most cost-effective way of reducing tobacco use. Essentially, as tax goes up, death and disease go down. Raising taxes on tobacco is a win-win situation. It is good for people's health and good for the economy," WHO representative to India Dr. Nata Menabde said according to the Economic Times.

Even though all nations should improve upon their tobacco consumption rate, certain nations, such as China and India, need to implement more anti-smoking initiatives due to their high rates. The WHO added that the popularity of other forms of tobacco, such as waterpipe and smokeless tobacco have increased in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and these products should be better regulated.

The agency stressed the importance of reducing overall tobacco consumption throughout the world.

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