The Ministry of Finance in China has disclosed an increment in wholesale tax rate for cigarettes from 5% to 11%. This is a move aimed at dissuading smokers in China, a country with the highest production and consumption of tobacco worldwide.
In spite of all the strategies implemented by the authorities in the last one year to cut down the number of smokers in the country, given its many demerits in the healthcare system, the tobacco industry has persisted and stood unwaveringly.
In one of the moves implemented by the authorities, tobacco ads in the media and public places have been banned. Also, cigarette traders have been forced to pay an additional 0.005 yuan on each cigarette sold starting from this Sunday.
Gan Quan, China’s Director of the China Office for the non-profit International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, however thinks the moves are good but not sufficient in curbing the menace of smoking in the land.
“It’s good news because raising the tax will result inn higher prices, and that will help keep young people from smoking. [But] at the same time, in terms of the extent of the tax hike, it’s still a long way from other countries that have done very well in curbing smoking”, he tells Reuters.
The World Health Organization has lauded the move, although adding that implementing some more costs for the consumers was needed to effect the change.
China houses over 300 million smokers, but what’s worse is that 740 million others are exposed to secondary smoking, according to reports. This is more than enough to call for concerns in the country.