The call to raise tobacco taxes and save lives
KOBE – What would your reaction be if someone proposed a solution that would significantly reduce health costs to the individual and to the country, increase longevity and increase tax revenue (at least in the short term) without any harm to the economy?
Sound too good to be true? Raising taxes on tobacco would accomplish exactly this solution.
Just a few days ago, countries around the world commemorated World No Tobacco Day (May 31). Each year the World Health Organization identifies a different theme. This year, WHO calls on countries to raise taxes on tobacco to encourage users to stop and prevent other people from becoming addicted to tobacco.
In 2012, in Japan, excise taxes on tobacco were $3.10 per pack of cigarettes representing 60 percent of the final retail price ($5.20/pack). If the government of Japan increased the amount of excise tax on cigarette packs by 50 percent (to $4.70/pack) and 68 percent of the final retail price (to $6.90/pack), there would be 1.5 million fewer smokers, and 330,000 smoking-attributable deaths would be averted representing a 3.0 percent decline in the expected death toll from cigarettes.