Implementation of the WHO FCTC article 6 - price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco in Ghana
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Ghana Health Service, Research and Development Division, Ghana
Monash University, Global Public Health, Sch. of Medicine and Health Sciences, Malaysia
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A131
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Countries including Ghana have taken initiative to pass legislation on tobacco use and raise taxes in a bid to discourage tobacco consumption. The effect of high tobacco taxation is known to significantly result on reduction of tobacco use, among the youth and low income groups. Ghana´s Excise tax as a percentage of cigarettes price was one of the lowest in the region and in an effort to reduce consumption of tobacco and related health hazards, there was need to increase excise duty on tobacco products to bring in tandem with the average for Africa. This study examined tobacco taxation and policies with overall aim of increasing taxes, reducing tobacco importation and consumption.

Using routine data from the revenue generating institutions i.e. Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the study gathered information on different taxes levied on tobacco, revenue generated, companies importing tobacco into Ghana.

Parliament of Ghana approved an increase in tobacco taxes through the passage of the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2015 into Law. The Bill seeks to amend the first schedule of the Excise Duty Act, 2014 (Act 878) and proposes an increase the excise duty on cigarettes and cigars from 150 percent of the ex-factory price to 170 percent.

Advocating for high excise taxes as well as review of import duty on tobacco will discourage consumption of tobacco in Ghana. This measure was in line with Ghana's obligations under Article 6 of the WHO FCTC. Ghana should continue to raise tobacco taxes, ensure tobacco taxes are adjusted periodically for inflation, strengthen tax administration and protect public health policies from tobacco industry interference. Funds generated from increased taxes could be used to implement and enforce tobacco control policies and programs.

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