Reducing Health Costs and Increasing Government Revenue beyond COVID-19: A Case for Raising Cigarette Taxes in Sri Lanka
Increasing and simplifying excise taxes are prescribed by the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and are the most cost-effective tools that governments can employ to reduce smoking rates. However, the tobacco industry strongly opposes raising taxes on cigarettes. Further, Sri Lanka has some misinformed cigarette taxation practices in place. This blog shows the fallacies in these arguments and practices, and highlights the importance of streamlining taxation policies in the country, with the objective of reducing smoking prevalence and reducing smoking related health costs.
On World No Tobacco Day, this article by G. D. Dayaratne examines the negative health issues caused by smoking, as well its impact on productivity levels of the workforce. In this context, the article discusses the effectiveness of measures taken to reduce the demand for tobacco by certain countries, including Sri Lanka.