Campaigners urge for tobacco tax hike
Luxembourg's Cancer Foundation has called on the government to increase taxes on tobacco products in a bid to stop young people starting the habit.
The call coincides with World No Tobacco Day, on May 31, when smokers are encouraged to kick the habit.
The Foundation quoted the World Health Organisation saying the number of deaths caused by tobacco could reach eight million by 2030 if no action is taken.
It said that studies have showed an increase in the price of tobacco products leads to a 13 percent drop in consumption among young people.
The organisation's appeal comes just five months after Luxembourg banned smoking in enclosed public spaces, including bars, restaurants and night clubs.
“Much has already been done. Now, it is time to go further and for policymakers to take rather unpopular preventative measure”, Cancer Foundation spokesperson Lucienne Thommes said.
A 2013 TNS Ilres survey showed that the number of young people smoking in Luxembourg was on the rise. Of respondents aged 15 to 17, over a fifth (22 percent) admitted to being smokers.
The Cancer Foundation also cited a study by the German Center for Cancer Research(Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum – DKFZ), which showed that the proportion of smokers aged 12 to 17 fell from 27.5 percent to 20 percent after tobacco prices increased by more than 60 percent from 2001 to 2005.
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