There is no denying that the economic activities generated from the production and consumption of tobacco produces huge tax revenues as well as employment opportunities in the tobacco industry but it is also worth mentioning that tobacco smoking is the cause of many avoidable diseases and premature deaths in Bangladesh. It poses enormous health-related threats to the consumers and the society as well.
Reportedly, tobacco consumption, in any form, kills more than 160,000 people on average every year, amounting to around 19 per cent of all deaths in Bangladesh. Children are the worst victims of second-hand smoking exposure. More than two crore children of the country are victims of passive smoking.
If prices of tobacco products go out
of people’s purchasing capacity, the
consumption will gradually reduce
Given the dangers of tobacco, pragmatic steps should be taken to limit its production and consumption. To this end, prices of tobacco products should be increased through implementing effective tobacco tax measures in no time.
Experts have long been crying hoarse to impose more taxes on the tobacco producing companies to save lives as well as collect more revenue. It needs no mentioning that increase in tobacco taxes will help reduce the consumption of tobacco. If prices of tobacco products go out of people’s purchasing capacity, the consumption will gradually reduce.
It is envisaged that if the existing taxes are revised and imposed properly, the government could earn an additional Tk 10,000 crore in revenue from the sector. In addition, around six million adult smokers will be encouraged to quit smoking if prices go up, which will reduce premature deaths. Hence, necessary steps should be taken to impose more taxes on the tobacco producing companies.