China Increase in Tobacco Tax Resulted in Decrease in Tobacco Consumption
By raising the tax on tobacco products resulted in a decrease in tobacco consumption in China, where nearly half of all the men are smokers. According to the World Health Organization thatin May last year, the Ministry of Finance announced the tobacco tax increase along with a series of controls which follwed. WHO estimated that the number of cigarettes being sold in China from April 2015 until March of 2016 fell by 3.3 percent compared to the same period last year. the decrease also included the 5.5 percent reduction in sales of the country’s cheapest class of cigarettes which indicated that low income smokers are also cutting back on consumption.
That is good news since people in the lowest socioeconomic groups in China are the most affected by the health and economic burdens that is caused by smoking. WHO said that tobacco use especially the cost of tobacco related illness such as lung cancer can place people and families in poverty and make it impossible for them to escape. China raised its tobacco tax at least three times since 2009, the new tax accounts for 56 percent of the cigarette price per pack.
Although these are baby steps, the country is hoping for a target of 75 percent that is recommended by WHO to have an effective tobacco control. China still remains the country with the cheapest cigarettes, and last yar tax increase set the important preeedent in China that the tax hikes should be passed to retail prices of cigarettes in order to achieve the public health objective of further reducing cigarette consumption.