Raising Taxes on Tobacco
Such a move will be beneficial to individuals, governments, and healthcare providers in the long run. Recommendations that have been suggested to governments by several agencies and healthcare organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) implies that it is necessary. The agencies have recommended an increase in taxation for tobacco as a way of discouraging its consumption. Their perception is that increase in more significant prices is the only way that will drop its consumption rates, thereby, turning off the potential consumers who may develop negative health outcomes as a result of its addiction (Jordan et al. Antman et al. It is a global public health issue that should be addressed from a global perspective. The fact that it is legal makes it difficult to control its consumption.
However, the WHO and other agencies have conducted several researches to prove that the best strategy of discouraging tobacco use is by raising taxes, so that poor and low-income earners my keep off. Increasing tobacco taxes has succeeded in reducing tobacco consumptions in several countries including Gambia (Nargis et al. The tobacco epidemic continues to take its toll not only in the United States of America but has also become a thorn in low and middle-income nations that are not in a position to afford the resulting economic and health consequences. Policymakers across the globe should come together to create an effective strategy that will save the masses (Chourase, 2018). The issue was thus selected since it is one strategy that can prevent deaths of people across the globe.
Smoking causes 80 to 90 percent of preventable deaths. The United States losses more than 440,000 deaths yearly due to tobacco-related deaths ("CDC - Data and Statistics - Smoking & Tobacco Use," 2018). According to the WHO, six million people die annually due to tobacco-related health effects. The above conditions including lung cancer and coronary heart diseases are directly linked to smoking. Their presence will drop thereby saving taxpayers, governments, healthcare payers, and families of such individuals who may have to incur a lot of expenses during the treatment processes. The relevance of raising tobacco prices can be observed from several perspectives. The first point of view is that once the taxes have been raised, its producers will also hike costs thus making it costlier to users (Wiles, 2015).
Such a move implies that many smokers may be sacred from the hefty prices, a factor that could bring down addiction rates. According to Gostin, the WHO alone has the international legitimacy to develop cooperative solutions that will solve global health issues (Gostin, 2017). Gostin considers Tedros as a capable leader who transformed Ethiopia’s health system before being elected as the new WHO boss. He developed a health system that was envied across Africa (Gostin, 2017). Because of the powers vested in him as the WHO boss and the fact that the organization has the mandate to influence global policies, Tedros has the power to ensure that raising of taxation on Tobacco is achieved. Raising of tobacco should be a joint exercise involving the WHO in conjunction with world leaders, presidents, and heads of state (Prasad et al.
The issues may range from political and financial difficulties. Political issues are likely to arise with the above proposal considering the number of people who are likely to oppose such a move. The tobacco industry will be directly affected and are likely to condemn the move (Scollo, 2015). Numerous tobacco manufacturers across the globe may form a union to fight against tax increment on their products. Such kind of organizations or unions may impact legislators who may bring down such bills when brought to legislative houses for approval. He should consult extensively before settling on any action because such policies may have broad impacts. The decision maker could resort to deal with a rebellion by involving other stakeholders such as tobacco companies through their unions before coming up with the policy.
Though their decision may not count, informing them early enough with enabling them to make early preparations for the possible impacts that could be caused by addressing such policies. The WHO leader should list the policy among top agendas that should be implemented because it is a health concern that has several advantages and has been recommended by researchers and several agencies (Scollo, 2015). The WHO should allocate finance to ensure that the process of campaign and implementation becomes successful. Therefore, the WHO can collaborate with World Bank because World Bank has succeeded in designing tax reforms in Philippines, Brazil, Gambia, Egypt, Peru, Vietnam, and Indonesia ("Tobacco," 2018). The WHO can contact the WB for funding its strategy of global tax reforms to countries that have not yet raised the tax on tobacco.
It would also be possible to sanction countries that may resist the policy. A collaboration between the World Bank and the WHO would be a practical step to reduce the resistance and financial challenges that may appear in the process of implementing the policy. Involving manufacturers of tobacco in activities and campaign against smoking raise their awareness on the need to raise taxes on the substance. The success of the policy brief can be measured by the reactions of the bodies who have been requested to take part in the policy implementation. The participation of world leaders by attending conferences on raising tobacco taxes should be an indication that the policy is on its way towards implementation. The success of the policy at the national level should be measured by the involvement of the health policymakers in the implementation of the above policy.
A top-down approach makes it necessary that the evaluation begins from the top organ who happens to the WHO leader, his initiatives towards raising of tobacco. The next review should be done by observing the collaboration of the WHO with national governments, tax collectors, and healthcare officials. Among the core functions and responsibilities of WHO is to coordinate and direct international health work by mobilizing, fostering collaboration, and galvanizing strategies to respond to global and national health challenges. WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is considered to be the pre-eminent global tobacco control instrument, it contains legally binding obligations for members and provides direction for policies concerning the control of tobacco use at all levels, We will contact the WHO through its numerous agencies to seek their partnership in implementing the above policy.
The WHO will be able to partner with civil society, research institutions, foundations, and academicians to champion the raising of taxation on tobacco as a way of promoting public health. WHO’s mission of striving to increase effectiveness, coherence, and efficiency of healthcare policies will be our pillars in championing and implementing the policy ("WHO Increase in the taxation of tobacco," 2018). However, the first step will start by sending request and informing the WHO concerning our need for support in championing and executing tax raise on tobacco before we can strategize on how we will work together as a team’s strives to increase coherence, effectiveness, and efficiency in delivering results Goal Alignment The World Health Organization has goals and objective that aims at achieving healthy outcomes of a given community ("WHO Increase in the taxation of tobacco," 2018).
Laying out effective capacity building strategies involves laying out a sustainable national plan and a comprehensive strategy for multi-sectoral tobacco control policies and programs. The goal of increasing taxes on tobacco requires the application of the recommendations from the WHO. The organization recommends two types of taxation on the substance which are a specific tax that is levied on a quantity of the substance such as per carton and the second one Ad Valoreum where taxation is done on the percentage of retail or wholesale. Governments should be able to implement the above strategies to ensure that it achieves its objectives. The overall structure of taxation should be smooth and straightforward to apply, and excise taxes should be on the manufacturer and not the retailer (Fritsch, 2015).
However, organizing campaigns to head of state to spread the relevance of the policy and coordinating with World Bank to help financially limited countries will be useful. They should also suggest sanctioning of non-compliant nations. Developing a Collaborative Evaluation Plan using CBR The CBR principles will be used to measure community engagement. Equitable, collaborative partnership in all phases of research as the first principle of CBPR will be estimated by seeking the responsiveness of community members during implementation strategy. Higher turnouts and cooperation by community members is an indication that the related plans are impactful. Lack of positive change makes it necessary for the organization to reconsider their policy and perhaps design a more effective strategy that will discourage consumption of tobacco.
The evaluation will begin with the impacts that the policy has on the target group. In the case of the implementation of the above policy, the target group is the tobacco users. Checking on the increase or drop in consumption of tobacco will provide results that can be used to evaluate the policy. A drop in tobacco use after implementation of the policy will be a positive indication and an encouraging aspect. Many people may be caught unaware of the increase in prices and the fact that it will affect manufactures implies that many people may lose their jobs. The bottom-up approach has the disadvantage of being slow in implementation and evaluation because of the numerous bureaucracies that may exist. The best approach for addressing the above policy is the use of a top-down strategy.
The fact that it is a global concern implies that the WHO organization should take the first lead, assisted by other organs such as the World Bank. The WHO should outline strategies for countries that should be implemented to see the success of the policy. Strengthening national health information systems: challenges and response. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 22(11), 840-849. http://dx. doi. org/10. 1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051543 CDC - Data and Statistics - Smoking & Tobacco Use. Smoking and Tobacco Use. Retrieved 27 February 2018, from https://www. cdc. gov/tobacco/data_statistics/index. doi. org/10. 1515/jbnst-1992-5-604 Gauld, R. The Development and Implementation of Health Policy. Journal Of Health & Social Policy, 8(3), 67-78. , & Friedman, E. Reimagining WHO: leadership and action for a new Director-General. The Lancet, 389(10070), 755-759.
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