A new study says tripling tobacco tax could save 200 million lives

By Amanda Stewart,

Specialists say that tripling the tobacco tax would reduce smoking by one third and possibly save 200 million lives this century.

Top News reports that if a tax like this were to be increased it would probably cause many to stop smoking because they would only be able to afford the cheapest cigarettes around. It would also prevent many young people from ever starting.

A study that was performed by these specialists, along with an Indian researcher, shows that the expense of tobacco is a heavy influence on whether a person buys cigarettes or not. By tripling the tax, researchers expect that many people would stop smoking, not to mention the economic benefit from raising the tax.

"Death and taxes are inevitable, but they don't need to be in that order," Dr. Prabhat Jha said in a news release. "A higher tax on tobacco is the single most effective intervention to lower smoking rates and to deter future smokers."

According to WebMD, tripling the tax would prevent 70,000 of 200,000 deaths annually with people under 70 just in the U.S.

"Worldwide, around a half-billion children and adults under the age of 35 are already -- or soon will be -- smokers and on current patterns few will quit," study co-author Sir Richard Peto said in the news release.

A higher tax, according to this study, would be the best way to make people quit as well as prevent people to start.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



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