In a new study published and made public, the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. National Cancer Institute has said that Tobacco consumption costs the world economy more than 1 trillion dollars each year.
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.
Oleg Chestnov, WHO’s Assistant Director-General, has said that this has imposed immense healthcare costs on families, communities and countries.
According to estimates that the two institutions have presented, there are 1.1 billion smokers around the world, which means that one in five people above the age of 15 use tobacco.
It said that six million people die each year of illnesses related to smoking or chewing tobacco. “Tobacco use is increasingly concentrated among the poor and other vulnerable groups and low- and middle-income countries are home to 80 per cent of the world’s smokers.
A new report has said, citing a 2016 study that policies to reduce tobacco use could have huge positive effects, if every country increased its tobacco sales tax by 0.80 dollars per pack, annual government revenues would increase by 140 billion dollars.
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.