High tax on tobacco will safeguard citizens: Health groups

  • IANS, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 04, 2014 13:47 IST

Health minister Harsh Vardhan's proposal to the finance ministry on increasing taxes on tobacco products in the upcoming budget was on Wednesday welcomed by various health groups, who said the increase in taxes will help in safeguarding the health of the people.

Harsh Vardhan recently wrote to finance minister Arun Jaitley for an increase in tax on the retail price of cigarettes from 45% to 60% in the Union budget to be presented in Parliament on July 10.

"Raising taxes on tobacco products is the single-most effective way to reduce tobacco use and save lives in India. All tobacco products in India are under-taxed," said Bhavna Mukhopadhyay of the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), welcoming the move of the health minister.

She said that increasing taxes means increase in revenue, reduction in consumption and saving of lives. It will also reduce the state's burden of treatment cost.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that the share of excise tax for tobacco products should be increased to 70% of the retail price.

"A tax increase that raises prices of tobacco products by 10 percent is estimated to reduce tobacco consumption by 4-5%. Essentially, as tax goes up, death and disease goes down. It is good for people's health and good for the economy," said Nata Menabde, WHO representative to India.

She said that raising taxes was one of the strongest weapons to fight tobacco and this was what the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control mandates.

According to a combined study by the health ministry and WHO, it is estimated that the total economic costs attributable to tobacco use from all diseases in India in the year 2011 amounted to a staggering Rs.1,04,500 crore - 12% more than the combined state and central government expenditure on health care in the same year.

Pankaj Chaturvedi, head and neck surgeon at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, says tobacco is the "cheapest poison in the market that getting cheaper every year".

"Tobacco taxes in India are not regularly adjusted for inflation, and over time tobacco products are becoming increasingly affordable, leading to one million deaths annually in India due to tobacco related diseases."

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey India (GATS) 2010, more than one-third (35%) of adults in India use tobacco in some form or the other.

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

IndiGo flight diverted as unruly passengers trigger trouble, two detained
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome