WHO warns China tobacco inaction will cost 100 million premature deaths

| November 16, 2012

Increasing China’s cigarette tax by Yuan1 per pack could help reduce consumption by three billion packs a year, reduce the number of smokers by 3.42 million and generate additional government revenue of Yuan129 billion annually, according to a China Daily story relayed by the TMA.

The story quoted the World Health Organization’s representative in China, Dr. Michael O’Leary, as saying that the above figures had come from studies, though the version of the story TR saw did not give details of the studies.

O’Leary said the economic growth inChinaduring the past two decades had made cigarettes more affordable.

He said that purchasing 100 packs of the cheapest cigarettes required nearly 14 per cent of the average annual per capita income in 2000, but that this figure had dropped to less than three per cent in 2010.

The WHO recommended that excise taxes should account for at least 70 per cent of the retail price of cigarettes, but the rate was 30-40 per cent inChina, said O’Leary.

If the government failed to take action to reduce smoking rates; of the 300 million young people in the country, 100 million would die prematurely of smoking-related illnesses.

Category: Breaking News

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