Saturday, March 6, 2010

New report finds major benefits to the health of the nation from increasing tobacco taxes (UK)

"Following an extensive economic evaluation of the benefits of increasing tobacco prices on the health of the nation, ASH: Action on Smoking and Health, has today published its report The Effects of Increasing Tobacco Taxation. Produced by independent economist Howard Reed, the report shows that raising tobacco prices through taxation by 5% above inflation will:

* lead to a reduction in the number of smokers by 190,000
* save the NHS over £20 million a year by reducing the cost of treatment of smoking-related diseases
* reduce smoking-related absenteeism in the work place saving over £10 million a year
* increase government tax revenues by over £500 million a year; a total of £2.6 billion in the first five years
* result in wider economic benefits in the first five years of over £270 million per year.

Based on these results ASH, supported by 49 other public health organisations including the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, has called on the government in its pre-Budget submission to the Treasury to increase the price of tobacco through taxation by 5% above inflation in the impending Budget and by a minimum of the rate of inflation in subsequent years. Launching the report, Deborah Arnott Chief Executive of ASH said:
'Smoking is a childhood addiction and not an adult choice. By increasing tobacco taxation we help to discourage children from buying cigarettes. An above-inflation rise would also help adults stop smoking.'"

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