29/05/2014 – ACDP observes World No-Tobacco Day

ACDP Parliament
Media Statement
Cheryllyn Dudley, MP and Whip

ACDP observes World No-Tobacco Day

The ACDP recognizes that on 31 May, ‘World No-Tobacco Day’ will be observed all around the world. The goal is to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco use across the globe and draw global attention to the global use of tobacco and the negative health effects of tobacco products, which in 2013 led to an estimated 5.4 million deaths worldwide.

This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on governments to raise tobacco taxes so as to reduce tobacco use and save lives.

Tobacco tax rates are comparatively low in South Africa.  WHO recommends that taxes should equal 70% of the retail price of cigarettes and the World Bank that it should be between 66% to 80% of the retail price. The tobacco tax rate in this country is well below these recommendations – at 52% of the retail price.  In the past 14 years the tax rate has increased insignificantly from 50% to 52% of the retail price.

There is room to significantly increase tobacco excise tax rates in South Africa and this will result in both higher tax revenues for the government and lower smoking rates.

The ACDP calls on Treasury to review tobacco excise tax and bring it into line with WHO recommendations so as to better serve society.

For those seeking to reduce the costs of tobacco use to their health and wealth, free assistance in quitting is available from the Quitline on 011-720-3145.

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