Comments /663 Views / Wednesday, 11 January 2017 00:04
Reuters: Smoking costs the global economy more than $1 trillion a year, and will kill one third more people by 2030 than it does now, according to a study by the World Health Organization and the US National Cancer Institute published on Tuesday.
That cost far outweighs global revenues from tobacco taxes, which the WHO estimated at about $269 billion in 2013-2014.
“The number of tobacco-related deaths is projected to increase from about six million deaths annually to about eight million annually by 2030, with more than 80% of these occurring in LMICs (low- and middle-income countries),” the study said.
Around 80% of smokers live in such countries, and although smoking prevalence was falling among the global population, the total number of smokers worldwide is rising, it said.
Health experts say tobacco use is the single biggest preventable cause of death globally.
“It is responsible for... likely over $1 trillion in health care costs and lost productivity each year,” said the study, peer-reviewed by more than 70 scientific experts.
The economic costs are expected to continue to rise, and although governments have the tools to reduce tobacco use and associated deaths, most have fallen far short of using those tools effectively, said the 688-page report.
“Government fears that tobacco control will have an adverse economic impact are not justified by the evidence. The science is clear; the time for action is now.”
Cheap and effective policies included hiking tobacco taxes and prices, comprehensive smoke-free policies, complete bans on tobacco company marketing, and prominent pictorial warning labels.
Tobacco taxes could also be used to fund more expensive interventions such as anti-tobacco mass media campaigns and support for cessation services and treatments, it said.
Governments spent less than $1 billion on tobacco control in 2013-2014, according to a WHO estimate.
Tobacco regulation meanwhile is reaching a crunch point because of a trade dispute brought by Cuba, Indonesia, Honduras and Dominican Republic against Australia’s stringent “plain packaging” laws, which enforce standardised designs on tobacco products and ban distinctive logos and colourful branding.
The World Trade Organization is expected to rule on the complaint this year. Australia’s policy is being closely watched by other countries that are considering similar policies, including Norway, Slovenia, Canada, Singapore, Belgium and South Africa, the study said.
29 May 2017
Newly appointed Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe being congratulated by his predecessor Arjuna Ranatunga when the former assumed duties early last week following the mini reshuffle of the Cabinet - Pic by Lasantha Kumara Sh...
29 May 2017
New Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera officially assuming duties at the ministry – Pic by Pradeep Pathirana Promise to continue with economic reform program The new Minister of Finance, Mangala Sa...
27 May 2017
India’s new INR 16,210 million ($ 250.9 million) plan to enable Tamil Nadu fishermen to exit fishing in the Palk Bay in three years from this year could end its decades-long row with Sri Lanka over poaching in Sri Lan...
26 May 2017
By the time you read this, you would have perused many pieces, no doubt, on the precarious state of the nation of late. The painful memories of April-May – Meethotamulla pitfall and the proposed appointment of a military panjandrum to curb, ...
Addressing job readiness to fast-forward economic growth
India should either come up with a better plan for Sri Lanka or send a thank you note to China
Sri Lankan sex ring in Haiti reveals cracks in UN system
Religious violence in Sri Lanka: A new perspective on an old problem
President’s visit will boost Australia – Sri Lanka ties: Ambassador Skandakumar
Sri Lanka and Australia make Joint Declaration to enhance cooperation
BCIS signs a MoU to enhance SL-China academic cooperation
Sri Lanka-China Business Council in Hangzhou set up to boost bilateral ties