News / Health

Taxes Provide Best Incentive to Stop Smoking

Taxes Provide Best Incentive to Stop Smokingi
X
Carol Pearson
May 29, 2014 10:51 PM
A lot of smokers start using cigarettes when they are teenagers, only to find later on that they can't kick the habit. It's a huge public health concern. As a result, researchers the world over, in government and in private institutions, are working on ways to help people stop smoking. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Carol Pearson
A lot of smokers start using cigarettes when they are teenagers, only to find later on that they can't kick the habit.  It's a huge public health concern. As a result, researchers the world over, in government and in private institutions, are working on ways to help people stop smoking.  

In Joanna Cohen's office at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Global Tobacco Control, cigarettes come in all types of packages....some are gruesome, while others are beautiful.

With advertising restrictions in so many countries, cigarette companies are using the packages as advertising tools.  Governments use them to discourage smoking.  Researchers like Cohen say taxes are the best incentive in cutting back on smoking.

"Taxes are a win-win situation. Smokers smoke less and governments increase their revenue so taxes are our most effective strategy and a win-win proposition," said Cohen.

The World Health Organization is urging governments to increase taxes on tobacco products.

The WHO says higher taxes are especially effective in reducing tobacco use among lower income groups and in preventing young people from starting.

The organization says a 10 percent tax increase reduces tobacco use by 4 percent in high income countries, and by up to 8 percent in most low- and middle income countries.

Statistics show there are a billion smokers in the world, almost one out of five people. Tobacco kills up to half of its users.

Some people say if tobacco were banned, they wouldn't smoke at all.

"I’ve been a smoker for 38 years.  It’s something that’s so hard for me to stop on my own," said a smoker.

Others say they are so addicted they have to smoke, even if they know the health risks.

"One of the worst addictions in the world is cigarette smoking. Inside my heart, something’s telling me to quit.  It’s not the right thing to do to my body and the ones around me," said another.

Joanna Cohen says governments also have to introduce more strategies so those trying to stop can be more successful.

"Seventy percent of smokers say they want to quit. We just need to figure out stategies to help support people in quitting in terms of reducing cues, making the product more inaccessible, harder to get, more expensive and less advertising, less promotion, those sorts of things," she said.

Public health experts expect deaths from tobacco use to increase in the years to come, especially in low- and middle income countries, where most of the burden of tobacco-related disease is expected to occur.

These experts are hopeful, however, that as proven strategies to prevent smoking are introduced, fewer people will take up the habit.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Pascal from: Netherlands
June 04, 2014 9:35 AM
We're a group of Experimental Psychologists that developed a simple online task to help people quit smoking. We'd encourage anyone currently stuck in their addiction to give it a go at http://impulstop.com


by: Mike Adams
May 31, 2014 10:38 AM
Why are Cigarettes the only "sin" that is taxed so high? Why not equal the scale & tax the same amount for: Alcohol, Cigars, Dip, Drugs, Fatty & Sugary Foods, & Weed! It's only fair~


by: harleyrider1978 from: nashville tn
May 30, 2014 10:41 AM
Smokers are cutting back on food to fund their craving
Just what lengths smokers will go to to feed their habit is borne out in a separate study by Pfizer Ireland which found:
- 10% cut back on buying food
- 35% said they cut down on eating out
- 24% pulled out of social engagements
- 22% also said that they cut back on holidays to avoid cutting their smoking budget.
More than half of the smokers interviewed admitted to spending between €50 and €100 per week on cigarettes.
Former Cork senior footballer Dan Dineen, a 47-year-old plumber, is a prime example of the lengths smokers will go to.
At the height of his habit he sold his beloved Harley Davidson to fund an addiction that was costing €800 a month.


by: Monika Wahi from: Boston, MA
May 30, 2014 6:03 AM
I agree, but this looks fishy to me. Why is tobacco a legal crop at all? We don't have to tax meth, coke, heroin, because they have been deemed too dangerous to be legal. This is just another way for governments to enslave people by getting them addicted to something expensive that is taxed.

In Response

by: Mistairhead from: Portage
May 30, 2014 10:29 AM
Tax hikes do work, that is the problem, because what happens when they governments are not getting as much revenue from smokers...what might they start taxing next air?


by: Regula from: USA
May 30, 2014 3:43 AM
The health issues of smoking could be greatly reduced if use of pesticides and additive chemicals were prohibited. Smoke has its negative effect - but it is relatively mild in comparison to the effect of the chemicals like artificial fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides used in tobacco production. Also, additives which increase addiction should be prohibited. These steps would go a long way to restore smoking to the pleasure it once was, before it became an almost insurmountable addiction.

The endless taxing and vilification of tobacco doesn't really address the true problems of this epoch: pollution of air, water and food.

People have smoked since time immemorial, without the adverse health consequences smoking has today. The same way that people since time immemorial ate red meat, pork and sausages, without the adverse effects these foods have today.

As long as the chemical industry is allowed to adulterate just about every item used in life, from water, food to furniture, clothes, kitchen utensils, to smoking and beyond, smoking is made into a scape goat to obfuscate the much larger problem, which is the overload of toxic chemicals in today's everyday life.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid