Hike tax, price of cigarette to reduce smoking-Experts.

Experts at a two-day key meeting on tobacco taxation organized by the World Health Organization, in Kigali aimed 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 meeting attracted more than 50 participants from select African countries, including 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, has said that 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.

He also added that 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 serious actions need to be taken and it has been proven that increasing tobacco prices and taxes is one of the effective measures to reduce tobacco consumption.

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