Increase taxes on Tobacco, Alcohol –GhNCDA tells gov’t


Ghana Non Communicable Diseases Alliance (GhNCDA) is calling on government to put high taxes on alcohol, and all tobacco related products to stem it rampant usage by the youth as well as raising revenue for national development.

According to the GhNCDA increasing the price of alcohol, tobacco through higher taxes is the single most effective way to encourage tobacco users to quit and prevent children from starting to smoke.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Today, on the sidelines at a sensitization walk to create awareness about NCDs and promote the Advocacy Agenda on Wednesday 29th May at Nima and its environs, the National Coordinator for GhNCDA, Mr. Labram Musah, explained that due to low prices and easy accessibility of alcohol, and all tobacco related products makes it attractive for people to patronize them.

Available data on Ghana’s tax on tobacco indicates it was less than 20 per cent and that most cigarettes had their volumes understated, making it difficult to place the appointment tax on it.

Mr. Musah was of the view that increasing taxes on tobacco to say 70 per cent will help generate more revenue for Ghana’s infrastructural development especially in the era of Ghana Beyond Aid.

The National Coordinator for GhNCDA, also used the occasion to call on government through state institutions to include people living with Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) in decision-making processes that affect their lives.

He again appealed to government to include the diagnosis and treatment of NCD among the diseases on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) list.

“Most people living with NCD usually resort to some unwholesome herbal medicine which has not help their situation, some died in the process due to high cost of seeking orthodox treatment” Mr. Musah noted.

The sensitizations walk to create awareness about NCDs and promote the Advocacy Agenda which kicked starts at in-front of Conca building behind Accra Girls SHS through Miamobi-Nima highway ended successfully at the St. Kisito Primary and JHS.

Some leading members of GhNCDA took turns to address pupils of the school on the dangers of alcohol, and tobacco usage.

A Senior Regulatory Assistant from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ms. Chrysolite Akyea on her part cautioned the youth to stay off hard drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

According to her, going in for such hard drugs, alcohol, and tobacco will have dare consequences on their health.

“Going in for such hard drugs, alcohol, and tobacco can led one to go mad, suffer NCDs among many other sicknesses that will affect your studies negatively.

“I believe all of you want to be somebody in the near future and you can only achieve this when you stay off hard drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and study hard.” She added.

Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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