British American Tobacco Expresses Displeasure with Raised Tobacco Taxes

Published on November 28th, 2014 00:00

On World No Tobacco Day, British American Tobacco (BAT) addressed the governments around Southern Africa to thoroughly take into account the unintentional outcomes of raised taxes on smoking products with the goal of decreasing tobacco use.

BAT affirms it does not feel that a boost in taxes on smoking products will end up in reduced  use, on the other hand smokers may keep on to search for lower priced alternatives, which are not so qualitative. What is more is that the call for amplified taxation on smoking products is being generated from within a context of already excessive tobacco taxes throughout Southern Africa, and an economic atmosphere in which the available revenue of consumers is still stretched. “Often, with a boost in taxes on smoking products, a spontaneous reaction by customers under significant economic pressure is to unwittingly buy lower priced cigarette brands in order to preserve money. Sadly, these products are often dubious brands that have an extreme economic and social effect. We have witnessed an impressive boost in the prevalence of illicit trade in states with larger excise rates on smoking products, lots of which are battling to lessen the challenge in spite of concerted initiatives from law enforcement regulators. Some investigation reveals that around 660 billion cigarettes per year are illegitimate. That is about 12 % of world consumption.

BAT thus advised authorities searching for decreased tobacco use to expand the scope of their considerations above boosts in tax. “Public health goals are not able to be the single factor of concern when identifying financial policy. The unintended outcomes as a result of the boost in tax on smoking products could, actually, hazard the accomplishment of these public health goals,” explained BAT.

The WHO states that at the moment there are about one billion smokers all over the world and that by 2050 this figure could boost to 2.2 billion.
While we recognize the hazards linked to smoking, we hope in an effective strategy to tobacco taxation that considers all the possible unintended outcomes like the illicit trade in smoking products.