The National Council Against Smoking (NCAS) is lobbying the government to increase the tax on cigarettes by 70%. Increasing excise taxes is‚ according to NCAS executive director Savera Kalideen‚ the best way to reduce consumption and address the deficit between money spent on prevention versus the treatment of diseases caused by smoking. “The tax increase means the price of the product increases‚ making it less affordable to the smoker. Higher prices also discourage adolescents and teenagers from starting to smoke. “Smokers therefore either cut down or stop completely. This‚ in turn‚ reduces the tobacco-related harm‚ including the burden of disease and death‚” Kalideen said on Wednesday. “Taxes collected from tobacco sales do not cover the harm caused by the cigarettes they produce — R13bn in tax income versus R59bn in tobacco-related harm‚” she explained. She said NCAS wanted tax gained from the industry to go towards prevention. She said the illicit cigarette trade‚ which made cig...

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