This year’s theme for World No Tobacco Day 2014 is “Raise tobacco taxes.”
In an interview with Dr. Juliet Fleischl, WHO representative to Lao PDR, in her office last May 29, 2014, she said to media: “You all will benefit from raising tobacco taxes, the poor will reduce the amount of cigarette use, many will quit smoking and workers will become more productive, families will have less risk of non-communicable diseases”
Raising tobacco taxes will also result in a decrease in smoking prevalence among youth, when the price of cigarettes are higher than soft drinks or snacks it will discourage young people to initiate smoking.
smoking prevalence is high and tobacco tax is lowest among ASEAN countries, it is a good opportunity for Lao government to push for higher tax rate on tobacco, the higher tobacco taxes are the more lives they can save. (V. Konsengphengphet)