November 13, 2012
MANILA (Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)) -- Smoking-related deaths in five Asian countries where tobacco use is among the highest in the world would drop by 20 per cent if cigarette prices were doubled as a result of increased taxation, an Asian Development Bank study said Tuesday.
The Manila-based claimed that even a 50-per cent price hike would save 27 million people from dying due to smoking and cause nearly 67 million current smokers to quit or youths not to take up the habit in China, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
"An even higher price increase of 100 per cent yields greater benefits, saving nearly 55 million lives in the five countries or about 20 per cent of the project deaths," the study said.
An estimated 402 million people are smokers in China, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, while 130 million more are projected to be future smokers.
"In the absence of intervention, smoking will eventually kill about 267 million current and future cigarette smokers who are alive today in the five countries," it said.
A 50-per cent increase in cigarette prices would also generate more than 24 billion dollars in additional tax revenues annually, the study said.
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