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High price to help quit smoking

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 27 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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High price to help quit smoking

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30 percent people will stop cigarette consumption if tobacco price is raised significantly by imposing higher taxes, a survey of Unnayan Shamannay says.

The increased price will also force another 30 percent smokers to reduce cigarette consumption.  

According to the research finding, increased tax on tobacco is less likely to reduce food consumption by the smokers to maintain their former level of tobacco consumption.

It said 71 percent of the people will not curb their food consumption in case of significant increase in price of cigarettes, the survey revealed.

Unnayan Shamannay presented the findings of a survey titled ‘Possible Impact of Increased Tobacco Taxation’ at Bishwo Shahitto Kendro in Bangla Motor in the capital on Wednesday. Former Bangladesh Bank Governor and Unnayan Shamannay Chairperson Dr Atiur Rahman presided over the event while MP Professor Dr Md Habibe Millat and MP Barrister Shamim Haider Patwary graced the event as esteemed panelists. 

National Tobacco Control Cell Coordinator (Additional Secretary) Hossain Ali Khondoker and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Senior Policy Advisor Ataur Masud were also present in the discussion. Representatives from other anti-tobacco organisations were also present.

Unnayan Shamannay Research Associate Zinia Sharmin presented the research findings.  Dr Atiur Rahman felt that the possibility of cigarette smokers reducing their food consumption expense to maintain their previous level of cigarette consumption in case of significant tobacco price increase is very unlikely.

“During her 2016 pledge to establish a tobacco free Bangladesh by 2040, Prime Minister Sheikha Hasina outlined the roadmap to a tobacco free Bangladesh. That roadmap included the directive to increase revenue earnings through taxation on tobacco as well as simplifying the tobacco tax structure for maximizing revenue and reducing tobacco usage,” said Dr Atiur.

He proposed that a coordinated effort from Members of Parliament, National Board of Revenue, Anti-tobacco research organizations should be successful to implement an effective tobacco taxation campaign.