Labram Musah, Executive Director of Programmes at the Vision for Alternative Development – Ghana (VALD), has recommended another tax increase on tobacco goods.
He made the statements at the launch and dissemination of the Rapid Study of Tobacco Industry Interference in the Passage of the Excise Duty Amendment Act 2023.
The report’s release is part of its oversight role.
He added that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has experimentally discovered that tobacco smoking is strongly connected with the beginning and progression of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Ghana.
He described the problem as concerning since it kills over 94,000 Ghanaians each year, disables others, and leaves many children without basic requirements such as food, shelter, and education.
He said that tobacco control strategies, such as tobacco taxes, have been endorsed by ECOWAS and WHO as cost-effective treatments for preventing and reducing NCDs.
As a result, he believes that Ghana must continue to raise tobacco taxes to achieve the goal of lowering NDCs.
He indicated that due to its benefits for improved health outcomes and sustainable revenue generation, the passage of the Excise Duty Amendment Act (Act 1093), which imposes increased taxes on tobacco products, was good news for the public health community beyond Ghana.
He said the passage of the law was not free from the tobacco industry’s interference as industry persons argued that taxes on tobacco were a threat to businesses.
He pointed out that such arguments were untrue because these companies and their assigns were just concerned with maintaining their profits and commercial operations.
He further claimed that the government, after raising taxes on these items, may allocate a percentage of the proceeds to the Health Insurance Scheme, which would then be used to manage renal illness, liver problems, and people afflicted by the use of tobacco and alcohol.
He expressed confidence that the media will successfully distribute the findings and enlighten policymakers and the general public.
“We support the government’s decision to raise tobacco taxes.” tobacco. Tobacco taxation has been proposed as a cost-effective measure for preventing and controlling NCDs by ECOWAS and WHO. Some firms have objected to this to safeguard their interests. Tobacco and alcoholic beverages would be cheaper without taxes, and our youth would buy them. Tobacco use is the primary cause of cancer, liver disease, and other noncommunicable diseases.
Tobacco, alcohol, and sugar taxes are all supported by us. The taxes will protect our children and youth. When tobacco and alcohol become more expensive, it reduces the number of young people who buy them and helps to avoid diseases, which is something we advocate for.”
By: Rashid Obodai Provencal/Rainbowradioonline.com