The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Ukraine hikes tobacco tax again

Tobacco control activists demonstrate in Ukraine on World No Tobacco Day 2015The Government of the Ukraine continues to push up the rate of excise taxes that it levies on tobacco products.

The latest hike of 40 percent, as of 1 Jan. 2016, follows on three increases in 2015 that totalled 40 percent. It should result in prices increasing generally by 20-25 percent, according to the NGO Advocacy Center LIFE, a member of the Framework Convention Alliance.

LIFE and other NGOs have been urging the government to increase tobacco tax rates following a World Bank conference on taxation in Ukraine in March 2015.

“The issue of excise taxes is painful, but in terms of the health of the country, I can’t talk about tobacco taxes separately of the public health policy as this is done in in many countries,” said Minister of Finance Natalie Jaresko announcing the increase. “After all we are spending more money from our budget for health care.”

Health reasons cited

According to LIFE, that statement marked the first time the Minister used health reasons, not just economic ones, to justify a tax increase.

The NGO said that attempts to raise the ad valorem tax on tobacco were blocked after strong lobbying by the tobacco industry.

It is generally accepted that raising tobacco taxes is the most effective way to curb consumption and prevent young people form starting to use tobacco.

Get involved

Read the press release from Advocacy Centre LIFE

 

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