According to a joint tea of researchers from the U.C. National Cancer Institute and World Health Organization, smoking is held accountable for more than $1 trillion in global expenses. Furthermore, health officials say that by 2030 approximately 800,000 individuals will succumb to health complications associated with the habit. The survey was published on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017.
Furthermore, the researchers also noted that global expenses linked to smoking far outweigh revenues from tobacco taxes. The World Health organization estimated the revenues at approximately $270 billion in 2013-2014. Moreover, almost 80 percent of smokers live in such countries, and even though smoking prevalence was dropping worldwide, the study notes more people are starting to pick up the habit each year.
The situation is alarming, according to health experts, because smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death. The peer-reviewed study found that more than $1 trillion is spent each year in health care costs. Furthermore, researchers also link smoking to decreased productivity.
Moreover, not only is the number of smokers constantly rising, but the researchers also expect economic costs to increase gradually by 2030, in spite of world governments having the necessary tools to reduce tobacco use, as well as the death rate associated with smoking. The researchers claim government officials fear implementing strict tobacco regulations will result in a devastating economic impact. However, the investigators say they did not find any evidence to support such claims.
Several effective policies included complete bans on tobacco company marketing, increasing prices and tobacco taxes, and prominent pictorial warning labels. Money collected from tobacco taxes could be used to fund more extensive interventions such as extended support for cessation treatments and services, and anti-smoking mass media campaigns, said the scientific experts.
However, tobacco regulation is stalled due to a trade dispute brought by the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and Cuba against Australia’s packaging laws which ban colorful branding and distinctive logos and enforce standardized designs. Furthermore, the policy Australia implemented is closely observed by other countries that are considering adopting similar measures, including Canada, Norway, Belgium, Slovenia, South Africa, and Singapore, noted the study. Ultimately, World Trade Organization officials are expected to rule on the complaint sometime in 2017.
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