This section provides everything you need to effectively communicate how increasing taxes is one of the most effective tools to decrease tobacco consumption and save lives.
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Ninety percent of adult smokers begin smoking as teenagers or earlier. As a result, youth are critical and powerful voices in the fight against tobacco. They encourage their peers to be tobacco-free, stand up to the tobacco industry and its deceptive marketing, and urge elected leaders to take action.
If cigarettes became unaffordable in Pakistan, 52.5% of smokers said they would quit, 38.2% of smokers said they would reduce their consumption, and 9.3% of smokers said they would switch to other tobacco products.
These structures are more likely to lead to higher, less-variable prices, which the evidence demonstrates reduce both smoking prevalence and intensity. Therefore, better structures can help to reduce the burden of smoking-attributable diseases and, thus, improve population health.
An appropriate tax structure provides the platform for those tax increases, safeguards their effectiveness, and ensures that all brands are equally covered by cigarette tax policies. These well-designed tax structures help facilitate higher and more effective cigarette taxes, which not only help countries achieve public health goals but also increase government revenue that can be allocated to development priorities, including health and education.
Based on the impact of cigarette prices on reduced smoking participation and smoking intensity, significant price increases are likely to reduce the burden of smoking-attributable diseases and, thus, improve population health. Countries can increase cigarette prices by imposing higher and better-designed cigarette
taxes, which could be sources of much-needed government revenue.
Even if countries impose higher taxes on cigarettes, changes in inflation and/or purchasing power often undermine those efforts and potentially even cancel out the impact of these taxes on smoking behavior. By imposing higher and better-designed cigarette taxes, countries can continuously increase the prices and reduce the affordability of cigarettes, thus decreasing cigarette consumption.
In addition to reducing smoking participation, increased prices also lower smoking intensity among smokers, which can further reduce the burden of smoking, attributable diseases and improve population health. Moreover, as countries impose higher and better-designed cigarette taxes, governments could generate more revenue which could be spent to improve public health generally and tobacco control specifically
Tobacco taxes should go as high as needed to further eliminate consumption. Specifically, because tobacco taxes are very low in many countries and consumption rates still need to be reduced.
Young people are more responsive to changes in taxes and prices, as youth generally have less disposable income, are less addicted, and respond more to the immediate costs of smoking than adults.
When strong tobacco tax policies are implemented, the greatest benefits accrue to a country’s most vulnerable populations like children, youth and pregnant women.
Countries should demand that governments put in place measures to ensure greater transparency and accountability with the aim of impeding corporate tax evasion.
Country-Level Data on Tax Results: Includes data from around the world showcasing the positive results of tobacco taxes.
Country Level Data on Tobacco Tax Revenue Funding Public Programs: Includes data from around the world showcasing how different countries are using tobacco tax revenue to fund a wide array of public serving projects.
Tobacco taxes are most effective when combined with strong tax administration, including the use of a state-of-the art monitoring, high-tech tax stamps, coupled with adequate enforcement, and swift, severe penalties on violators.
The benefits of raising tobacco taxes are progressive: Lower income populations reduce their tobacco use by more in response to tobacco tax and price increases than higher income populations.