People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) this week organised a tobacco tax workshop hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) office in the Western Pacific.
It focused on helping countries strengthen their tobacco tax systems in order to reduce tobacco consumption and raise revenue.
The workshop was part of SEATCA’s Southeast Asia Initiative on Tobacco Tax.
The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2014 (31 May) is Raise tobacco taxes.
"Precisely because the excise tax on tobacco products in many countries is still low, WHO has made taxation the theme in this year's World No Tobacco Day," said Bungon Rithiphakdee, Director of SEATCA, an FCA member.
The Philippines recently revised its tobacco taxes, so that by 2017 the price of the country’s cheapest brands will have increased more than 1,000 percent.
"Countries should recognise that higher tobacco prices will save lives and reduce the high economic and social burden of tobacco addiction. They should strongly resist tobacco industry pressure," said Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific.
- Tobacco tax reform surged ahead in South-East Asia in 2012
- SEATCA's tax initiative
- WHO press release about the workshop