June 7, 2023

On world no smoking day, the who calls for significantly higher tobacco taxes

on world no smoking day, the who calls for significantly higher tobacco taxes

When christoph columbus landed in cuba, he met natives who cultivated a plant they called "cohiba named. The spanish priest las casas, who came to cuba a short time later, was the first to describe cigars – rolled "cohiba"-blatter: "all the men carried a torch", he wrote, "the indians call them tabacos." Tobacco, once used by indians for religious ceremonies, has now become a drug of mass consumption. Around six million people die every year from the effects of smoking. Shocking: ten percent of them, a total of 600.000 people, have never smoked themselves, estimates the world health organization WHO. You are a passive smoker.

Price increase by ten percent?

For this year’s world no tobacco day on 31 december, the. May WHO calls for tobacco taxes to be raised, and raised hard. A ten percent price increase would reduce tobacco consumption by four percent in rich countries and by up to eight percent in middle- and low-income countries, she calculated. Governments were also required to tax all tobacco products equally. This is to discourage smokers from switching to cheaper alternatives such as rolling their own cigarettes.

Taxes had to be raised at a significantly high rate and in one step, says inga jesinghaus of the aktionsbundnis nichtrauchen in bonn as well. "Otherwise they are not really noticed." It has been proven that an increase in the price of tobacco products leads to a decrease in smoking rates. It is not right that smokers generally stick to their habit, no matter how high the price.

Jesinghaus has his eye on young people in particular. Money plays a particularly important role for them. If they were not completely deterred by the high prices, we could at least get them to start smoking later. This is an inestimable advantage, she emphasizes. The earlier a person starts smoking, the more difficult it is to stop.

Vile and stinky use

already in 1604 jakob I., king of england, scotland, and ireland, owns a "rejection of tobacco" smoking was an "abominable and foul smelling habit. When smoking was banned in 19. As cigarettes became more popular in the twentieth century and were a standard supply for soldiers during the first world war, cancer rates began to rise in the 1920s.

Today, lung cancer is not the only smoking-related disease, and by far not the most common one. Almost every smoker will eventually develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The beginning seems harmless – as a "smoker’s cough" it is known. In the course of the years it becomes a shortness of breath, which becomes worse and worse, especially in the case of physical stress. In the end, many patients could hardly move without gasping for air. "COPD is a disease that causes great suffering", says inga jesinghaus of the nonsmoking action alliance in bonn.

Many smokers are not even aware that their illness is related to smoking. "I have asthma", they often say. In fact, the symptoms are similar, and longstanding asthma can also develop into COPD. In most cases, however, years of smoking are the cause of the lungs gradually losing their function.

100.000 smoking deaths in germany per year

according to the "yearbook of addiction", the following people die in total every year 100.000 to 120.000 germans die from smoking, i.E. Bronchial tumors, COPD and cardiovascular diseases, the consequences of smoking are. One in three germans is hooked on smokers’ cigarettes. Figures from the german cancer research center in heidelberg show that this rate is falling, but only slowly. Other countries have more success. Ireland, for example, was the first country in the world to ban smoking in the workplace in 2004. As a result, the smoking rate fell from 28 percent to the current 21 percent. Ireland wants to be smoke-free by 2025.

U.S. Studies showed as early as 2009 that the number of heart attacks fell significantly after the introduction of smoking bans. The WHO is therefore calling for a combination of stricter laws and higher taxes. And: she calculated that poor countries could increase their health budgets by a quarter if they raised taxes on tobacco products by 50 percent.


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