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Anti smoking network chairman Somsri Paosawat said that week that his group would be calling on the government to raise the prices of tobacco and to impose a special tax on cigarettes, a move they believe will be effective in lowering tobacco consumption across the country.
The Health Professional Network for a Tobacco-free Thai Society Network’s statement countered a proposal by the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM) that the junta end the industry’s mandatory contribution to a health fund that comes from cigarette sales. The move would generate more revenue through cigarette exports, the TTM said.
Somsri pointed out that the government do not benefit from the tax of uncured tobacco sales but do have to foot the medical bills of smokers, and most of those requiring medical treatment for tobacco related illnesses were poor. The network estimates that around 6 million Thais smoke uncured tobacco and went on to say that the special tax on cigarettes should be raised from Bt1 gram to Bt1.5 – 2. He believes that taking this measure would cause consumption to drop.