WHO Urges Higher Taxes On Tobacco

The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday urged Cambodia to increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products-currently the lowest in the world-in order to raise revenue and deter smokers. Ayda Yurekli, coordinator of the WHO’s tobacco control economics unit, said during a workshop in Phnom Penh that Cambodia imposes a tax on tobacco equal to 5.3 percent of the consumer price, the lowest in the world. … Hang Chuon Naron, secretary of state at the Finance Ministry, acknowledged that as a signatory to the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Cambodia had a responsibility to strive toward the recommended 67 percent tax. But, Mr. Chuon Naron said, “to increase tax on tobacco products is also…to negatively impact tobacco farmers.”