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Aggressive Tobacco taxation policy can reduce cigarette smoking

by Medindia Content Team on  June 29, 2005 at 11:43 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
Aggressive Tobacco taxation policy can reduce cigarette smoking
Lung cancer is the most common and deadly cancer worldwide. About 1.4 million people are diagnosed of lung cancer this year out of which 85% will die before 2010. Habit of smoking is reducing in high income countries, but it is fastly increasing in low and middle income countries. The most important cause of lung cancer occurrence is smoking. Globally smoking related disease causes 5 million deaths a year.
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In many developing countries due to poor literacy, poverty and under developed health system anti-smoking awareness does not reach them. In the next 20 years, 75% of people dying from cancer will be from developing countries. Cancer should be detected and treated early for an effective cure. In developing countries, there is a lack of knowledge about cancer. Moreover, malnutrition, poverty and infections reduce the treatment tolerance.

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The money power and attractive advertisements by the tobacco industry attracts more smokers. The World Bank predicts that population growth in China and India, will increase the number of smokers in low and middle income countries to more than 800 million in the next few years. Industrialized nations export cigarette to developing countries, where awareness of tobacco smoking is low.

The Framework Convention on Tobacco control aims to reduce the growth of tobacco usage by making it a legal requirement for countries to impose restrictions on tobacco advertising, awareness of tobacco ill effects on package and legislation to control tobacco smuggling.

What really needed in developing world is aggressive tobacco taxation policies. The world bank estimates that a price increase of 10% on tobacco can reduce demand for tobacco products by 4% in high income countries an by 8% in low and middle income countries. Government should increase annual price increase by 50%, which would help to reduce demand for tobacco menace.

Tobacco manufacturers are continuously promoting smoking that will kill 50% of those who acquire the habit.
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