Cancer Foundation slams tobacco VAT compensation
Luxembourg's Cancer Foundation has condemned a government decision to compensate for the 2 percent VAT increase on tobacco products by reducing excise duty from January 1, 2015.
Speaking on behalf of the awareness-raising not for profit, Dr Lucienne Thommes said in a press release that he was “shocked” by the decision, adding it had hoped that Luxembourg would “finally advance its anti-smoking policy” after smoking in public places was banned from 2014.
The World Health Organisation has in the past noted that high taxes on tobacco are the most effective way of preventing young people from starting smoking. Meanwhile, studies have shown that increasing the price results in a 13 percent decrease in smoking among young people.
“The Cancer Foundation is disappointed that the government prefers to ignore this fact. In addition an increase in tobacco prices may encourage some smokers to quit,” the press release said.
Tobacco is known to be responsible for around a third of all cancer cases. The Luxembourg government is implementing a National Cancer Plan, which emphasises that tobacco is the leading preventable risk factor for cancer.
"We deeply regret that with this measure, the government should put economic interests before a major public health issue," said Dr Thommes.
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