The Nigerian Online Newspaper

WHO says $1t literally goes up in smoke each year

The World Health Organisation and the US National Cancer Institute said on Tuesday that Tobacco consumption costs the world economy more than $1 trillion each year.
The organisations made this known in a new study that was published and made public on Tuesday.
Oleg Chestnov, WHO’s Assistant Director- General, said: “The tobacco industry produces and markets products that kill millions of people prematurely, rob households of finances that could have been used for food and education.
“This has imposed immense healthcare costs on families, communities and countries.”
There are 1.1 billion smokers around the world, which means that one in five people above the age of 15 uses tobacco, according to estimates that the two institutions presented.
WHO said that six million people die each year of illnesses related to smoking or chewing tobacco.
Chestnov said: “Tobacco use is increasingly concentrated among the poor and other vulnerable groups.
“Low- and middle-income countries are home to 80 per cent of the world’s smokers.
“WHO and the National Cancer Institute, said that policies to reduce tobacco use could have huge positive effects.”
If every country increased its tobacco sales tax by $0.80 per pack, annual government revenues would increase by $140 billion.
This would bring down smoking rates and would result in 66 million fewer smokers, the report said, citing a 2016 study.
However, WHO pointed out that many countries are not using tobacco taxes appropriately.
Less than 0.4 per cent of such levies are being used to finance anti-smoking measures.