Tobaco Case

Published: 2021-06-29 07:10:00
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Category: Science

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A REPORT that reveals the $31 billion social cost of smoking to the Australian economy is a mandate for tobacco taxes to be hiked, health groups say.
The Cancer Council of Western Australia released what it says is the first independent analysis of economic arguments put forward by the tobacco industry.
The report, prepared by two health economists, assessed the economic impact of both the tobacco industry and public health measures aimed at reducing tobacco use.
It put the economic contribution of the tobacco industry at about $1 billion a year and the estimated social costs of smoking at $31 billion.
Cancer Council WA tobacco program director Denise Sullivan said the report debunked claims by the tobacco industry that higher tobacco taxes would be detrimental to the Australian economy.
"The tobacco industry frequently employs economic scare tactics when policy makers are considering measures for reducing demand for tobacco, such as increases in taxes on the sale of tobacco," Ms Sullivan said.
"This report provides the evidence that there would be few, if any negative economic consequences in further measures to curb tobacco use in Australia," she said.
Report author Professor Helen Lapsley said tobacco control measures did not cause economic harm.
"A fall in demand for tobacco, while significantly affecting the tobacco industry, will have very little, if any, negative economic impact," Prof Lapsley said.

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