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Tobacco: Committee discusses raising tax

Tobacco: Committee discusses raising tax

Tobacco

A proposal to increase tobacco taxes has been included in a law set to be debated by the Council of Ministers next week, and members of the committee charged with drafting the law said at a meeting Thursday that they believe the added expenses would reduce the high number of Cambodian smokers.

Khun Sokrin, director of the Health Ministry’s National Health Promotion Centre, said current tobacco taxes are too low, and that the ministry “strongly supported” an increase. “The World Bank recommended that we increase tobacco taxes to at least 65 percent of the retail price,” he said. “It is included in the draft law.”

World Health Organisation country representative Dr Pieter Van Maaren said tobacco price increases have been proved to change the behaviour of smokers.

“When taxes increase, the consumption of tobacco decreases, and research has shown that in particular the poor and young people are more sensitive to price increases,” he said.

“Tobacco-control measures are a cost-effective tool,’’ he added.

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