Experts urge Vietnam to aim higher with tobacco tax
Experts say Vietnam should raise its tax on tobacco beyond the Ministry of Finance's modest plan in order to curb smoking and raise much-needed funds.
Pham Thi Hoang Anh, director of the NGO HealthBridge Vietnam, said the special consumption tax on tobacco in Vietnam has been maintained at 65 percent since 2008.
The ministry plan would raise it by 75 percent in 2015 and 85 percent in 2018.
“The managing agencies can increase the price of gasoline and electricity at any time even though these are essential products for production and daily life. But increasing the tax on tobacco has been too difficult,” she said at a conference on the issue in Hanoi on September 13.
“Vietnam has a golden chance to increase its tobacco tax. If this chance is missed for two or three years, it will seriously affect the young people."
Nguyen Tuan Lam of WHO Vietnam said lawmakers should raise the tobacco tax by 105 percent in 2015 and 145 percent in 2018 to achieve its national target of reducing smoking from 47.4 percent to 39 percent of the male population.
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