Tripling Tobacco Tax Could Save 200 Million Lives Worldwide | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Tripling Tobacco Tax Could Save 200 Million Lives Worldwide

Smoking globally could be cut by a third and prevent deaths from lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.


Photo via Shutterstock

By Shawn Dwyer


| Share

A review published in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers from the charity Cancer Research UK (CRUK) argues that raising taxes per cigarette by a large amount would discourage people from smoking and prevent younger would-be smokers from ever picking up the habit.

According to the study’s lead author, Richard Peto, an epidemiologist with CRUK, such a heavy tax on cigarettes would be most effective in poorer and middle class countries, where most of the world’s 1.3 billion smokers live. "The two certainties in life are death and taxes. We want higher tobacco taxes and fewer tobacco deaths," Peto said. "It would help children not to start, and it would help many adults to stop while there's still time." But such a measure has had demonstrable effects on richer nations as well. Peto pointed to France, which cut cigarette consumption by half from 1990 to 2005 by taxing cigarettes well over the rate of inflation.

In 2013, world governments agreed to make reducing premature deaths from smoking a legislative priority by reducing smoking by a third by 2025. The study’s researchers pointed to their analysis as a way forward in that goal. "Worldwide, around half a billion children and adults under the age of 35 are already - or soon will be - smokers, and many will be hooked on tobacco for life. So there's an urgent need for governments to find ways to stop people starting and to help smokers give up," said Harpal Kumar, chief executive of CRUK.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
An Audience with Gabor Maté

According to the rock star of addiction theory, every addict had a traumatic childhood whether they realize it or not.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv