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Two thirds of world's tobacco users live in 15 countries:ADB

Posted on Nov 14, 09:53PM | UNI

An ADB study today said two-thirds of the world's tobacco users live in just 15 countries, India being one of them, and five of them are high burdened countries.

The countries include People's Republic of China, India, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, which are in Asia.

The report aims to assess how changes in cigarette taxes can reduce consumption and save lives in these high-burden countries.

Indian male smokers can expect to lose a full decade of life and most lives lost are at the most productive age of 30- 69 years, rather than advanced age. Around 10 per cent of Indian men smoke.

A 50 per cent rise in cigarette prices (corresponding to a tax increase of 70per cent - 122 per cent) would avoid over 4 million tobacco- related deaths in India Switching to cigarettes from bidis is occurring but a switchback is likely if only cigarette prices rise so parallel tax increases on bidis as well as better oversight of the industry would be an ideal additional taxes would help close the fiscal deficit.

In India, poor people would account for 30 per cent of the additional taxes paid but 47 per cent of deaths averted.

Intervention smoking will eventually kill about 267 million current and future cigarette smokers who are alive today in the five countries.

The report finds that for all five countries, increases in cigarette prices (in the range of 25per cent -100 per cent) would effectively reduce the number of smokers and the number of smoking-related deaths, and generate substantial new revenues.

In the five countries, a 50 per cent price increase, corresponding to a tax increase of about 70 per cent - 122 per cent, would reduce the number of current and future smokers by nearly 67 million and reduce tobacco deaths by over 27 million, while generating over 24 billion dollars in additional revenue annually (a 143 per cent -178 per cent) increase over each country's current cigarette tax revenue).