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Business News of Saturday, 24 October 2020

Source: GNA

Stakeholders express need for increase in tax on tobacco and alcohol

Govt has been asked to increase taxes on these items so it can be less consumed Govt has been asked to increase taxes on these items so it can be less consumed

Participants at a day’s stakeholders meeting have expressed the need for the government to increase taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened products to raise revenue and to protect the lives of the citizens from diseases.

The meeting was organized by the Vision for Alternative Development and Ghana Tax Advocacy Network for Health Promotion, non–governmental organizations and supported by the Framework Convention Alliance and the Norwegian Cancer Society.

Mr. Divine D. Logo, Director at the Research Division of the Ghana Health Service who presented rapid assessment findings on tobacco, alcohol and sugar products said the demand for the products could be reduced through taxation and pricing mechanisms.

He said the government must implement tax regimes, while effectively implementing and enforcing the existing national law that prevents the exposure of alcohol to the youth.

“Enforce the law to prohibit sales of single sticks of cigarettes and ban the sale of alcoholic drinks in sachet or tot,” he said.

Mr. Logo said the government should develop mass-reach health communications campaigns that use multiple media formats that include graphic images to change the knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of tobacco users while providing users with information on how to quit.

He said there is the need for the government to develop an effective policy on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) to protect the public especially children and the youth by undertaking immediate and concerted effort to regulate or ban advertisements on SSBs on television, radio, billboards, the internet, among others to reduce consumption.

“The FDA must make it mandatory for companies to list the number of calories per bottle or can on the front of all beverages to create some level of awareness about the dangers,” he said.