A team of experts attending a key meeting on tobacco taxation in Rwanda have said that hike in taxes and prices of tobacco products will help reduce smoking in African countries.
The two-day meeting organized by WHO
aims at raising awareness of the role of
tax and price measures in meeting public health objectives and improving the understanding of the participating countries on the development of effective tobacco tax policies.
The countries attending the meeting include; Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea,
Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Liberia,
Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Tanzania,
Uganda, and hosts Rwanda.
Addressing the participants, Dr Olushayo
Olu, the WHO country representative,
said serious tobacco control measures
are highly needed in Africa since tobacco
consumption is on the rise.
He cited taxation as one of the most efficient measures that can be put in place.
“The problem of tobacco consumption used to be in developed countries but lately it has shifted to Africa which accounts for 70 per cent of tobacco production and consumption globally.
Tobacco kills more than six million people
every year globally, which mean we have
to take serious action. It has been proven that increasing tobacco prices and taxes is one of the effective measures to reduce tobacco consumption,” he said.