As the world adjusts to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we at the Prevent20 Coalition hope you and your families and communities are safe and well. Below, please find some recent developments and research related to tobacco taxes.
Exciting new developments in tobacco control
1. Indonesia Increases Tobacco taxes to Fund Universal Health Care
On June 30th, the Ministry of Finance released a decree containing a provision for increasing taxes on tobacco and foods that contain high amounts of sugar, salt and fat. This is intended to generate revenue that can be used to fund universal health care, health systems and health programmes, all of which are under increased strain due to COVID-19, in addition to the country’s high burden of tobacco-related disease.
2. Tobacco Pay Up Campaign
Tobacco companies have been using COVID-19 to try to get closer to policymakers through discussions about the economic impact of the pandemic and through COVID-19 related corporate social responsibility initiatives that cost them very little – especially in comparison to the huge profits they make and the cost to countries of tobacco use.
Tobacco industry watchdog STOP launched Tobacco Pay Up, a campaign that urges governments and civil society to hold tobacco companies financially accountable for smoking-related health harms and the burden they have placed on health systems. Increasing tobacco taxes is amongst the key strategy to make the tobacco industry pay for the harm it causes.
Nicotine & Tobacco researchpublished a study that explores the relative roles which concludes that income growth could offset the effect of tax and price increases, such that, “in the presence of rapid income growth, the tax and price increases required to effectively reduce tobacco consumption at the population level would be larger than the increases required under conditions of sluggish or no economic growth.”
These are useful materials to support your efforts to calling for higher tobacco taxes in your country. We encourage you to read them! If you have additional resources you would like to share with other Prevent20 members, please share them with us!
The Global Week of Action on NCDs, September 7-13
Accountability is also the theme for the NCD Alliance’s Global Week for Action on NCDs. The campaign aims to help noncommunicable disease (NCD) prevention and control get the attention and action they deserve. Get involved!
We need to take every opportunity to voice our support for tobacco taxes. Use this event to hold your policymakers accountable for any lack of progress and to hold the tobacco industry accountable for the harm it causes. You can find out more and download resources and toolkits at http://www.actonncds.org/en
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