Global Hazards of Tobacco and The Benefits of Smoking Cessation and Tobacco Tax

Authors: Prabhat Jha, Mary MacLennan, Ayda Yurekli, Chinthanie Ramasundarahettige, Krishna Palipudi, Witold Zatoński, Samira Asma, Prakash C. Gupta


Cigarette smoking is responsible for over 20 percent of all deaths of adult men and 5 percent of deaths of adult women, and about 50 percent of global smoking-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Interventions that rapidly induce cessation focus on aggressive taxation making cigarettes less affordable and the World Health Organization recommends increasing excise tax rates to 70 percent of the retail price. Smoking patterns have changed in response to (1) control policies banning advertising and public area smoking and (2) dissemination of information about health hazards. Cessation programs and counseling, especially with pharmacological treatments, have shown success, and e-cigarettes, used as nicotine replacement, may hold some promise for reduction of tobacco smoking. Controlling cigarette smuggling is effective since 6–11 percent of the 5.9 trillion cigarettes sold globally in 2006 came from this illegal source. Government efforts to target smoking reductions have proven highly cost-effective since the additional tax revenue has a positive budgetary impact and counterbalances the increased expenditure from Social Security as people live longer.



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