Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 01:53:34 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Winning the war on tobacco

By
15th-May-2017       Readers ( 339 )   0 Comments
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all (0) »

Alex Brill :
As cigarette use decreases, it may be tempting to supplement declining tobacco tax revenues with a tax on e-cigarettes - a relatively new, less risky alternative to traditional cigarettes. Following actions by some European nations, the European Commission is now contemplating the proper tax treatment of e-cigarettes and has just finalised a public consultation on the topic. Taxing e-cigarettes would have a negative effect on nascent, but important, public health gains for four reasons.
Cigarettes and e-cigarettes are completely different products with wholly different public health consequences. The reason for taxing cigarettes differently to other consumer goods is that smoking has dire health consequences. E-cigarettes, despite their name, are unlike cigarettes in that they contain no tobacco and no tar, the known carcinogen in cigarettes. Rather, the common ingredient is nicotine, which is addictive but relatively benign for most adults. And the lack of tar means that the second-hand exposure risks are greatly reduced. As Cancer Research UK noted in comments submitted to the European Commission's public consultation, "e-cigarettes are a far safer alternative to smoking and there is a very low risk associated with long-term use".
E-cigarettes are effective tools for helping smokers quit. Not only do these products not pose the health risks of traditional tobacco products, but they can also help people quit smoking. A recent review of 687 research articles on e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) concluded that ENDS are "at least as effective" as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in helping smokers quit. The Commission's own Eurobarometer survey shows much the same results: almost half (48%) of smokers and former smokers who have used e-cigarettes reported either quitting (14%), temporarily quitting (13%), or reducing smoking (21%). Ireland's health agency found that e-cigarettes are more than twice as popular as NRT as a means of smoking cessation. In the UK, half of the 2.3 million people who used e-cigarettes in 2015 did so to quit smoking.
E-cigarette usage is still relatively low and a tax would discourage smokers from switching. In Europe, smoking rates are far higher than e-cigarette use, though there was a distinct increase in e-cigarette use from 2013 to 2016 across markets in the UK, Poland, France, and Italy. While this trend is encouraging, e-cigarettes are still in their infancy. For consumers, restrictions discourage the uptake of these harm-reduction products. Poor public policy choices about the regulation and tax treatment of e-cigarettes have the potential to stifle these innovations before they can effectively reduce smoking rates widely.
Taxing e-cigarettes has not proven to successfully address budget woes. Based on actual experience with taxing e-cigarettes, it is reasonable to conclude that these taxes may actually do little to address government budget challenges. Minnesota (a US state with a population similar to Finland or Slovakia) collected just over $5 million in e-cigarette taxes in fiscal year 2014, or roughly $1 per capita. By comparison, annual revenue from all cigarette and tobacco taxation in Minnesota recently totalled nearly $660 million. A similar picture appears to have emerged in Italy and Portugal - the two European countries with the highest e-cigarette taxes. The e-cigarette markets in both countries contracted dramatically following the introduction of the tax, likely making it difficult to achieve revenue targets.
Last month, the British medical journal Lancet reported that "a crucial challenge facing tobacco control initiatives is that demographic forces are poised to heighten smoking's global toll, unless progress in preventing initiation and promoting cessation can be substantially accelerated". The good news is that the clinical evidence clearly indicates that e-cigarettes are less risky substitutes for conventional cigarettes. Given that a core objective of the European Commission Tobacco Products Directive is to ensure "a high level of health protection for European citizens", the proper tax to levy on e-cigarettes should be self-evident: none.
In their desire to close fiscal gaps with any revenue they can secure, European regulators should not make the mistake of putting short-term budget concerns before the long-term welfare of their residents.
(Alex Brill is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington DC-based think tank).

0 Comments. Share your thoughts also.
Write a comment
Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Chaos at Islami Bank is not to the nation`s interest


THE unrest in the Islami Bank -- the largest and most profitable bank in the country just over five months of its change over to a new management and ownerships liquidating the control of Jamaat people on the bank just shows the ominous sign of greater destabilization within the bank. ...

Cricket »

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma (center) Parthiv Patel (left) and bowling coach Shane Bond pose for a picture with the Indian Premier League (IPL) trophies from last three wins after a press conference after their IPL 2017 win in Mumbai, India on Monday.


City »

Jatiya Press Club General Secretary Farida Yasmin was accorded a grand reception for achieving US Special Congressional Award at the Jatiya Press Club Auditorium yesterday. Chief Guest of the function Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu along with BFUJ Secretary General Omar Faruk and other special guests seen handing over the citation crest.


Entertainment »

Half Girlfriend is Shraddha`s fourth best opening


Shraddha Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor starrer Half Girlfriend has raked in a whopping 10 crores of moolah at the box office on its day one. This is Shraddha’s fourth best opening after Ek Villain, ABCD 2 and Baaghi, also withstanding the fact that all these films opened to a two ...

International »

Trump plays up ME peace hopes after talks with Abbas


Reuters, Bethlehem : US President Donald Trump talked up the prospects of peace between Israelis and Palestinians on Tuesday, saying he believed both sides were committed to an historic deal, but he offered no concrete proposals on how to get there.After an hour of talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ...

International »

Outgoing WHO Chief says world 'better prepared' for health crises


AFP, Geneva  :The World Health Organization's outgoing chief Margaret Chan defended her legacy Monday, insisting the world had become better prepared to face health emergencies like Ebola on her watch.In her final address to WHO's member states, Chan acknowledged that mistakes had been made during her decade at the helm, ...

Editorial »

Police can`t commit excesses like politicians


MEMBERS of law enforcement agencies or police for that matter surely have the professional right to conduct search operations based on accurate tip-offs but that doesn't mean it can wreak havoc and cause chaos in the name of such professional duty. The police search operations at main opposition party BNP ...

Football »

Dhaka Abahani emerge group champions beating Muktijoddha SKC 1-0


Defending champion Dhaka Abahani Limited emerged Group A champions to reach the quarterfinal of the Federation Cup Football Tournament beating Muktijoddha Sangsad KC by 1-0 goal in the last Group A match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Monday.Rubel Mia scored the match-winner for popular sky-blue Dhanmondi outfit in ...

Entertainment »

Rhea Chakraborty snips her long tresses for Half Girlfriend


The actress plays a spirited Indo-American in the Arjun Kapoor-Shraddha Kapoor starrer Half Girlfriend, and to fit her character, she had to chop her long locks - an act she hasn't done for many years. “I’ve always had long hair and it’s something I’m proud of. Apart from trimming ends, ...

Entertainment »

Tendulkar family to grace TV screens together for the first time


Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar will be seen promoting his biographical drama, Sachin: A Billion Dreams, on a Marathi chat show. Midst the much anticipation of the film Sachin: A billion dreams that marks the most iconic moments of the cricketing legend, the God of cricket will indulge in a light ...

City »

Deputy Prince of Saudi Arabia Soud Bin Khaled Al Faisal welcomed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina upon her arrival at Prince Mohammad Bin Abdul Aziz Airport, Medina in Saudi Arabia on Monday.


International »

Iran reformists sweep Tehran municipal council election


AP, Tehran :Candidates backing reform of Iran's clerically overseen government swept municipal elections in Tehran, taking all 21 local council seats in the country's capital while moderate President Hassan Rouhani won a second term in office, authorities said on Monday.Their win in Friday's election marks the first time reformists have ...

Editorial »

Jewellery business in Bangladesh cannot be run legally


THE jewellery business in Bangladesh has reportedly been thriving despite there being no import of gold into the country through legal channels. First of all the prevailing predicament is not a new phenomenon and is being continuing for the last three decades. How has it been made possible? Are we ...

Sports »

A view of the match of the Saif Power Tec Dhaka Metropolis Senior Division Football League between Friends Social Welfare Organization and Dhaka United Sporting Club at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur on Sunday. Friends Social Welfare Organization beat Dhaka United Sporting Club by two goals to nil.


Cricket »

Jaydev Unadkat celebrates a sensational return catch to dismiss Lendl Simmons during the IPL final match between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant at Hyderabad on Sunday.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news