"Raising taxes on tobacco products could damage its export"

“Ray of Hope” in the bleak economic conditions in the country seems to be the most taxed agricultural products – tobacco – which showed a surprising almost 300 per cent increase in exports over the past two years.

Statistics published in the annual report of the Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB), shows that tobacco exports increased from four million pounds is phenomenal in 2009 to 14 million kg in 2011. There was also a marked increase in 2010, when exports rose to five million pounds, bringing foreign currency revenues of $ 36 million of the government. But he went spiraling up in 2011, when tobacco is the country’s exports totaled $ 105 million, a record increase in the export of PTB was established back in 1968.

Agricultural and trade experts expressed the view that the “key” for this extraordinary increase in tobacco exports was a “competitive price” of tobacco production in Pakistan.

However, they warned that any extravagant price increases on tobacco products in Pakistan will have serious negative consequences for the country’s exports of tobacco and can see the change of export potential of this new crop of tobacco country. “If prices go beyond a certain point, the yield would be uncompetitive and export of the peak,” they warned. Experts dealing with the theme of the harvest of tobacco and tobacco exports, when they wrote the opinion, said that as far as the domestic tobacco farmers, then they win because this is exported.

“These farmers are under the protection regime established pursuant MLO PTB-487, which is in place since 1985. Tobacco enjoy four unique protection under these rules, which guarantee that they will always receive the price of their products or equal to the previous year, or above, that “they pointed out.

“Now this is a unique provision of the law and has no analogues in any other product, industry or agriculture. Do short or excess production, the price of tobacco crop is not affected, and they continue stable and continues to grow every year,” they added. They also noted that tobacco is a unique culture, because the cigarette manufacturers to disclose and publish the requirements for the harvest season in October. This gives a clear idea of the farmers, most of the crops they should grow up in December, and they can manage their land holdings, respectively, changing crop pattern in accordance with their requirements.

“This phenomenon is healthy, because when properly handled this change in the structure of the harvest can always lead to the preservation and improvement of soil fertility,” agricultural experts. “Harvest Commissioner does declare that” the minimum price for tobacco, but almost always that we get 10 or sometimes even 15 percent more than a set of “minimum price” the government from tobacco companies, “said representatives of the manufacturers.

Another assurance that the Government proposes that these tobacco growers in the fact that 100 percent of its products must be purchased in the tobacco industry. “In this culture is perishable, farmers are forced to shift their product as fast as they can. But unlike the producers of other crops, which, if it hits the market access and the price gets destabilized, tobacco growers, do not bother to to run and find buyers because it is stipulated in the law that cigarette manufacturers are required by law to purchase all the surplus crops from farmers. Thus, it is a very comforting situation for us, “said representatives of tobacco manufacturers.

Now, according to economic experts, the price of tobacco products in Pakistan is comparable to regional and competitive prices in the international market. This pricing mechanism puts farmers here in Pakistan for the benefit of export crops as well. And that is why such a dramatic increase in tobacco exports has witnessed over the past three years, while tobacco exports have tripled over the next five years.

He was apprehended, that any change in pricing patterns can make a non-competitive prices, which could lead to a reduction in domestic consumption and exports. In the current scenario of any move to abolish the existing pricing mechanism only a disaster for tobacco growers, and will be hard to tip the scales created and maintained a successful system of pricing for the past many years.

Raising tobacco taxes save lives, generates income

A group of American University of Beirut researchers found that raising taxes on tobacco products will reduce the incidence of smoking-related diseases, as well as to attract much-needed revenue into the state treasury, AUB press release on Thursday.
One-year study funded by the Canadian International Development Research Center under the direction of three members of the AUB Tobacco Research Control Group: Professor Rima Nakkash, Jad Chaaban, and Nisreen Salti.
“Raising taxes on tobacco products was the most effective policies to protect youth and to help curb the morbidity and mortality from tobacco,” said Rima Nakkash, associate professor of health promotion and public health, and one of the key personnel in the study.
“Countries such as Turkey, which has a higher rate than smoking Lebanon, failed to adopt strict tobacco control policies, including raising taxes on tobacco products, and we believe that Lebanon could be the next success story, but we need support and close cooperation with the political leadership, in particular, ministries of finance and health to achieve this success, “she added.
Taxes now account for 30 to 50 percent of the retail price significantly lower than average shares of income, who charge 70-80 per cent tax on tobacco products. Given that the average price of imported cigarettes are relatively low in Lebanon ($ 1.6/pack, compared with $ 2.5/pack in the upper middle income and $ 5/pack in high-income countries), research has shown that there are significant opportunities to raise tobacco prices as part of a national strategy for tobacco control to protect the life of the Lebanese people.
Lebanon has ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in February 2005; there is no national policy that requires an increase in tobacco tax, as stipulated by the Convention.
“Today in Lebanon, there has been no studies aimed at providing financial and social effects of higher taxes on tobacco products,” said Jad Chaaban, Assistant Professor of Economics and a leading researcher in the economic study. “Our study focused on the domestic consumption of tobacco products, consisting mainly of imported cigarettes, local cigarettes and pipe tobacco water.”
The study showed that if taxes were increased by about 140 percent on average in local and imported cigarettes, consumption will be reduced by 92 per cent for local cigarettes by 7 per cent on imported cigarettes, and 26 percent of the water pipes. This means that the price of local cigarettes to LBP in 1250 (0.8 U.S. dollars) per pack, while the import of cigarettes and water pipes will be LBP 4750 (3.2 U.S. dollars) per pack, and 4,000 LBP (2,6 USD ) on tobacco packaging, respectively.
“Total expenditure on these goods reached 553 million U.S. dollars in 2010 to U.S. $ 512 million spent on 307 million packs of imported cigarettes,” said Nisreen Salti, assistant professor of economics and a member of the study. “Given that the price increase is greater than the fall in consumption, the net income impact on public finances is positive: an increase in tobacco taxes will generate 127 million dollars in additional state revenue, about 52 percent more than today,” said Salti.
“Part of the proceeds from higher taxes may subsequently be targeted national prevention programs for tobacco control and cessation programs, so as to extract more benefits from this scheme of taxation,” said Chaaban. “This is a situation of” win-win “as a life-saving and increase government revenue.”
 

Cigarette tax purposes in Washington

The proposed state tax on roll your own cigarettes can put dozens of small tobacco retailers out of business.
Roll-your own tobacco retailers in Washington to avoid high taxes on cigarettes, because, by definition, they do not produce cigarettes for sale. Customers buy tobacco and paper tubes, and then throw cigarettes on their own, using a machine on site. With this method, 200 self-rolled smokes – the same number in a standard box – sell for about $ 34. This is less than half the cost of packed cartons of cigarettes.
This DIY approach offers a cheaper alternative for smokers. However, tobacco companies and shops say that a tax loophole creates an unfair advantage in the market. Roll-your own retail even have their own language for legal reasons, referring to the finished product as a “smoke” instead of cigarettes, and avoid terms such as boxes and packaging.
In Washington, packaged cigarettes cost about $ 7.50 per pack, although some stores mark prices up more than $ 9. Excise tax in Washington is $ 3.025 per pack, or 15 cents per cigarette, which ranks fifth among all states. Excise tax in New York at $ 4.35 per pack of cigarettes is the highest, and in New York, an additional $ 1.50 Virginia brand of cigarettes has the lowest excise tax of 30 cents per pack.
House Bill 2565 calls for the use of the same taxes, roll your own smokes in Washington. The bill revises the owners of mills, as producers, and include a roll your own smokes a cigarette within the definition. With the support of state Rep. Steve Kirby (D-Tacoma), the bill passed the House during the regular session, but stopped in the Senate. Governor Christine Gregorian announced last month that the tax is still “on the table” for the current budget debates in the legislature. If approved, the new tax could come into force on July 1.
The number of state taxes lost to roll your own products can be $ 26 million a year, according to a draft report. Convenience stores and tobacco manufacturers support the proposed tax as a way to level the playing field. Opponents say the bill will be closed 65 stores in Washington, tobacco, and cost the state 250 jobs. One of these stores tobacco plant, which opened in October 2011 on the Pacific Highway and South Three hundred and forty-eighth Street in Federal Way. Shop owners, Donald and Sandy City, said that the new tax would add about $ 23 for each lot of 200 self-rolled smokes – and is likely to lead to closure of business.
Shop owners have already paid tax on wholesale tobacco. In addition, they say that their tobacco contains fewer harmful chemicals and exciting than finding commercially manufactured cigarettes. The proposed bill states also refers to concerns about the relationship between the roll your own smokes and access to tobacco to minors. Don City refutes this view. Most of his customers are smokers aged 45 and older who want to save money, he said, and some customers come from as far away as Lake Bonney.”It’s not creating any new smokers,” said Urban, a resident of the way that the federal lobbying in Olympia on behalf of a roll your own tobacco retailers. “It was for many years.”
The issue of tax rolls your own tobacco retailers is nothing new at the federal level. Last month the U.S. Senate passed a bill highway appropriation amendment to the tax roll your own retailers as well as commercial producers. According to the Washington State Department of revenue, taxes on cigarettes to go to the state general fund and education legacy trust account – nearly $ 400 million total in 2009. House Bill 2565 states that any new revenues from the proposed tax will be credited to the prevention of tobacco use among young people.
On a related note, the Indian tribes in Washington to collect their tribal sales tax on cigarettes. At the time it takes to charge state taxes, non-Indian customers, the tribes themselves are exempt from state taxes cigarettes. In one agreement, Puyallup Indian tribe pays 30 percent of tribal revenue on all sales of cigarettes in the state.

Taxes on tobacco products

Arena developers did not say how much money from the tobacco tax will help to strengthen the development around the hockey arena complex Allentown, but they recognize that it is so much money that cigarette-selling wholesale generating company is prohibited from leaving the zone of the arena tax.
Downtown Wholesale, wholesale cigarettes, with headquarters in the area Neighborhood Improvement Allentown, will be held hostage in the area until the city pays the credit he should build its $ 158 million hockey arena for the Phantoms minor league. This is the only company that can never leave, in accordance with the contract master developer conditionally approved last week the Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority.
“Well, I would not use the word hostage, but yes, City Center Wholesale is contractually obligated to remain in the bottom,” said the lawyer ACIDA Jerome Frank. “Downtown generates a large amount of revenue Bottom. Basically it protects and provides a revenue stream.” Downtown Wholesale officials will not say how heavy the flow, but also a unique 130-acre tax Allentown district is designed to collect all state and local taxes except for property taxes, for use in the construction of the arena and surrounding development. And a few things generate state tax dollars as sales of cigarettes.
For each pack of cigarettes sold in the state with the $ 1.60 tax on tobacco. In 2010, the city center east of Allentown purchased wholesale basis Dorward Wholesale and moved it to the area, Dorward sold 4.5 million packs of cigarettes and cigarette state tax is paid $ 7.2 million in 2011. State Department of Revenue officials said that the sale of cigarettes to happen to improve the areas of tax revenue a cigarette, to be eligible for use in construction-related arena. Most of those 4500000 cigarette packs were sold outside the zone. However, City Center has created a wholesale model, which allows for much more sales occur in the zone before they are delivered in dozens of outlets.
Downtown Wholesale is a subsidiary of City Center Investment Corporation, which is co-owner Joe Topper. Topper also owns Lehigh Gas Corporation, which operates 180 stores and gas in six states, including 45 in Pennsylvania. This allows you to buy their gas Lehigh cigarettes to the new City Centre Hall Street Wholesale warehouse in the tax area, in front of the distribution of its stores. If the distributor of cigarettes store is created in the area of the neighborhood, where the improvement of their customers pick up their cigarettes, the tax on these transactions fall within the zone, regardless of where the retail stores, said the State Department of Revenue spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassel.
Investment Officials Town Center would not discuss how much Bottom entitled to a tax wholesale company generates, but ACIDA CEO Scott Unger said that, as expected, millions of dollars a year. That’s why city officials Investment Centre, in its development agreement with ACIDA, agreed to hold a cigarette seller in the zone as long as it exists, which is expected to be the 30th year of his life in bonds to be sold to pay for construction.
“This company produces a significant amount of revenue and income plays an important role in assisting in financing the project arena and related development,” Unger said. “This ensures that the developer pays a share of the cost.” City Centre investment is stills the only developer that has been approved to improve the revenue area. It was suggested that three office buildings and a hotel totaling $ 200 million in investments and was approved at $ 135 million line of credit that can be returned to the tenant area of increasing income tax.
Under the agreement, the master developer to get approval ACIDA that line of credit, City Center Investment agrees to pay at least $ 3.8 million per year to finance a portion of the arena complex, which will be used for hotel guests and office tenants, such as parking deck, the setting for banquets and restaurants. Downtown Investment Chief Operating Officer Jim Harbaugh said that the company offered a stipulation that the city center remain in the wholesale area. He did not comment on how much revenue it generates, but said that it is more convenient to require wholesale company to stay in the area because it has only 20 people.
“Lehigh Gas $ 2 billion a year business with a place in six states,” Harbaugh said. “It would be unfair to require her to stay in the area for 30 years. Anything can happen. Center City Wholesale made the most sense.”
In fact, ACIDA stated that it makes the most of the dollars and cents.

Nelson, tobacco farmers, sin tax

I’m not a fan of Willie Nelson and his country western music. But I can not forget his collaboration with Wynton Marsalis, my idol for being one of the greatest trumpeters, and acts as a jazz and classical music. Nelson and Marsalis teamed up to play good music and released an album entitled “Two and a Blues.”
I like the blues, too. And I highly recommend Nelson and Marsalis album. Their interpretation, such as “Georgia on My Mind” gentle and sweet yet retains a shade of sadness.
So, I remember Willie Nelson for two things: first, his collaboration with Marsalis, playing and singing the blues; and second, his famous quote about farmers.
That quote well applies to the specific situation of our tobacco farmers.
Members of the House of Representatives of the tobacco growing regions of the resistance of tobacco tax reforms that the Aquino administration wants the legislation. In opposing the administration bill, these legislators — collectively called the Northern Alliance — invoke the plight of the tobacco farmers.
Their argument is simple. A significant increase in tobacco taxes will lead to a reduction of tobacco products and, therefore, adversely affect the farmers. But the threat to farmers is not supported by facts.
The truth is that tobacco farmers can shift from tobacco farming to other crops, without much difficulty. Rene Rafael Espino, a professor of agriculture at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, said that the soil and climate found in places where tobacco is grown are suitable for other crops such as vegetables, peanuts, corn and mungbean.
The choice of the farmer harvest should be developed mainly determined by the cost-effectiveness, as well as information and knowledge management, market support, as well as providing materials. The task of the government, it will provide support in terms of access to markets, inputs and technology.
The Ministry of Agriculture under the direction of the Secretary prosaic Alcala is fully aware of this and takes the necessary measures to meet the needs of farmers as they move from the cultivation of tobacco.
The fact is, too, that many farmers over the years have passed from the tobacco production of other crops. According to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics show that tobacco products has decreased from 81723000 metric tons in 1990 to 40,529.77 metric tons in 2010. The peak of production during the 20-year period (1990-2010) amounted to 120,000 tons in 1992. But production plummeted to less than 60,000 metric tons in 1994 and subsequently declined in subsequent years. In addition, ha devoted to tobacco growing has decreased from 63,200 hectares in 1990 to 29,707 hectares in 2010.
In other words, tobacco production declined not because of high taxes (in the Philippines with one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the world). It should also be emphasized that under the current regime, where the rules have contributed to the monopoly of tobacco have to deal with monophony, which dictate prices.
All of this suggests that tobacco is no longer profitable or other crops, yield higher economic benefits for farmers. An empirical study entitled “Review of the tobacco growing areas in the Philippines”, in collaboration with Rene Rafael Espino, Danilo Evangelista, and Edgardo Ulysses Dorotheo and published in 2008, has the following conclusion:“In terms of income, vegetable, provided that high-income farmers, although this requires higher input costs and lower labor requirements compared to the Virginia brand of cigarettes. Corn, moonlight, and peanut farmers also prefer mainly due to low demand Employment and income provided along with tobacco. Thus, farmers tend to have more time to engage in other activities while at the same
The study found that “corn, beans [moonbeam, beans, and peanuts] and various kinds of vegetables, [tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, onions, etc.] are the preferred crop farmers to grow.”
This production of tobacco is a “sunset industry” Obviously; even government officials acknowledge the tobacco field. We had the opportunity to talk with Mary Jane Ortega, charming, polite, articulate and elegant ladies, three terms Mayor of San Fernando in La Union, and the wife of Rep. Victor Ortega, who happens to be president of the Northern Alliance. Ms. Ortega told us that she and Rep. Ortega understand that the tobacco industry is the sunset. Thus, her husband was trying to promote new industries as the production of honey and silk. Unfortunately, support for the market did not come, then, that the government could decide if a more interventionist.
Tax reform will benefit all sin, including tobacco. The increase in excise taxes on tobacco to fund public goods, especially universal health care, and will strengthen the macroeconomic environment, thus creating more jobs and reduce poverty. Tobacco will not only benefit from the provision of public goods, but also from the trust funds (15% of additional revenue from the excise tax on tobacco products) to be “exclusively used for programs to promote economically viable alternatives for farmers and workers.”
In conclusion, the champions and supporters of the bill to reform the tax on tobacco products are the ones who can claim that Willie Nelson said. “While there are a few farmers out there, we’ll continue to fight for them”

Proposal to raise tax rates

Tobacco companies oppose the proposal to increase tax on cigarettes, which could see smokers pay Sh7 the treasury for every ten shillings spent on their products.
The move is aimed at increasing government revenue and equalization of the tax regime in Kenya to international standards.
The Institute of Legislative Affairs (ILA) suggests that an increase in treasury taxes on cigarettes, so the effective rate of 70 percent, recommended at the international level the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Taxes make up 55 percent of the price of cigarettes in Kenya, which is much lower than the WHO-recommended threshold of 70 percent,” said ILA last week, referring to countries such as Thailand, at the pre-budget hearings organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs.
British American Tobacco (BAT) Kenya and Mastermind Tobacco against the proposal arguing it would lead to an increase cigarette smuggling by tax evaders.
“This issue should be considered in the context of the consequences for the entire tobacco industry.
Experience in other countries, Canada being one such example, showed that these initiatives lead to significant increases in consumer prices leads to an increase in illegal trade, “said BAT East and Central Africa head of corporate and regulatory policy, Joe Muganda.” But this is not good to government revenue?”
Mastermind Tobacco representative Josh Kirimania, said the new proposal is discriminatory against the majority of low-income smokers. “It is unfair to charge the same tax for people who are at the bottom of the market those at the top,” said Mr. Kirimania.
He said that the Mastermind Tobacco is lobbying the Treasury to a change of heart and return to the old system, that the categories of products based on their characteristics, arguing that it is the norm for other industries – and the tobacco industry should be no exception. Malt beer and spirits are taxed differently in the alcohol industry.
The ILA executive director, Vincent Kimosop, said the proposal is based on research conducted at the Sportsman brand as it is the most popular on the market.
Mr. Kimosop said the Treasury would have the following rights, as the Tobacco Act 2007 allows the Minister of Finance to increase taxes on cigarettes.
“The minister is now responsible for finance shall fiscal policy, where appropriate, policy rates on tobacco and tobacco products so as to promote the objectives of this Act,” the law of the state.
Processes for the production, sale and manufacture of tobacco products are regulated by law.
To ensure that the effective tax rate is not reduced, there is a proposal to link the tax to inflation, which suggests that the rate will be adjusted in tandem with changes in the value of goods.
Mr. Kimosop said inflation rose from the amendments to the Finance Bill were made in June when the budget was read, and, as such, the tax rate used was then undermined by inflation.
In June, inflation was 14.48 percent, but rose to 18.93 percent last month.
The tax rate proposed by the Treasury was the largest of R1, 200 per 1,000 cigarettes sticks or 35 percent of the retail price.
By indexing charges, the figure would edge up to about Sh1, 400 per thousand sticks, said Mr. Kimosop.
AMP proposal would apply to all tobacco products, which differs from the past, where the government taxed in accordance with the physical characteristics of different brands.
The old tax system continues to be used until the president handles the financial bill into law and AMP proposals can be implemented only after the budget is read in June

Modi hints at higher taxes on tobacco products

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said here on Wednesday that taxes would be hiked on tobacco products and pan masala in a bid to discourage their use as they cause cancer. Stressing the need for an intensive campaign against the use of tobacco and tobacco products, he said an inter-departmental committee would be set up for reducing their use.
He urged health minister Ashwini Kumar Chaubey to launch a programme for school students where they could take pledge against the use of tobacco and its products. Modi was addressing an interactive programme, ‘Voice of Tobacco Victims’, at which cancer-affected patients and their family members described their plight due to use of tobacco. They also demanded a stringent policy for tobacco control and ban on sale of tobacco and its products as per the provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), 2003.
The programme was organized jointly by Cancer Awareness Society (CAS) and Healis-Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health. Former DGP and national president of CAS T P Sinha made a fervent appeal for government action for checking the use of tobacco and its products as their use caused cancer and claimed one lakh lives every year in Bihar, and to implement the COTPA Act. He referred to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2010 report that 53.5% of adult population in Bihar used tobacco products in one or the other form.
Health minister Ashwini Kumar Chaubey said that the financial loss caused by tobacco-triggered cancer to the affected families and society was five times more than the tax revenue generated by sale of tobacco and its products. Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, an oncologist from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, said that 90% cancer patients reaching him were tobacco users and 50% of them were from Bihar. More than two crore people in Bihar were tobacco users and one crore of them may get affected by cancer, he said, adding that only 20% of cancer patients survive as 90% cancer patients reach hospitals at an advanced stage. IGIMS director Arun Kumar stressed on checking use of cancer as “prevention is better than cure”.
indiatimes.com

Alcohol, Tobacco Taxes to Go Up

New York — CONCERNED by the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases, the Government is considering raising alcohol and tobacco taxes to finance the prevention and treatment of such conditions.
The move will push retail prices of the products upwards.
Speaking ahead of the United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs, which begins here today, Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr Henry Madzorera said he would present the proposals to Cabinet after the Summit.
Although statistics were not readily available, he said alcohol and tobacco were responsible for a good number of NCDs.
A non-communicable disease is a medical condition that is non-infectious, for instance, cancer and diabetes.
“We are going to propose taxes on tobacco and alcohol; Government will look into the issue. Taxes reduce consumption (of the two products) and the money raised will go towards improving programmes related to the diseases they cause,” he said.
“There are more deaths caused by NCDs than HIV and Aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined. A total of 80 percent of premature deaths caused by NCDs are in developing countries.
“Initially, people thought NCDs were for the affluent and had not realised they are the causes of high mortality. However, we have woken up to the reality.”
Dr Madzorera said the proposal is in line with the World Health Organisation’s Zero Draft of the UN Summit Outcomes Statement, which, among other issues, urges member states to set up domestic financing mechanisms and utilise available resources efficiently to fight NCDs.
He said the Government was working diligently to combat this group of diseases, but continued to experience financial challenges.
He said specific policies and regulations should be refined to leverage ongoing efforts.
Such an initiative includes enforcing public smoking regulations and curtailing tobacco and alcohol advertising.
“When we look at regulations, there are conventions such as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. We, as Zimbabwe, have not yet signed that convention. The convention seeks to limit advertisements of tobacco and to ensure such advertisements inform the public about the hazards of tobacco. It also seeks to ban public smoking to eliminate passive smoking.
“Furthermore, the convention promotes the production of alternative crops.
“This is voluntary, and those that do switch to different crops will be funded for the transition.
“The convention will not affect our tobacco revenues, as 98 percent of this revenue is generated outside the country. It is the 2 percent that we want to look at.”
The minister said the Summit marks a turning point in the fight against the diseases.
“The most important aspect is that the Summit is the second the UN has convened to look at a (global) health issue.
“We learnt from the last Summit that better results – in terms of financing of disease prevention and treatment – are attained when there is commitment at the highest level of Heads of State and Government.
“We want to ride on the 2001 meeting to deal with NCDs and hope that financing improves. We also hope this will mobilise the global community as the last Summit did.”
The high-level meeting seeks to formulate a co-ordinated global strategy to deal with NCDs, which cause 60 percent of deaths across the world. Cancers, cardiovascular ailments, chronic respiratory disorders and diabetes will feature prominently.
The President of the General Assembly will today chair plenary meetings where UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan and a civil society representative are scheduled to make presentations.
Three roundtable discussions are expected to tackle the rising incidence and socio-economic impact of NCDs and their risk factors. Also to come under the spotlight will be methods of strengthening the national capacities and policies of member states to address their prevention and control.
The meeting will finally adopt an action-oriented outcome document.
The Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance is pushing for more aggressive approaches in dealing with NCDs. The alliance – consisting of the International Diabetes Federation; Union for International Cancer Control; World Heart Federation and International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease -represents 880 societies in 170 countries.
The grouping and the Lancet NCD Action Group have since published a Summit paper proposing priority action points that include leadership, prevention, treatment, international co-operation as well as monitoring and accountability.
They also proposed interventions such as tobacco control, salt reduction, improved diets and physical activity, reduction in hazardous alcohol intake, and essential drugs and technologies.
Published by the government of Zimbabwe

New York Expects Big Tobacco Tax Payoff

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office expects the state to see an additional $27 million in tax revenue through renewed New York Taxesefforts to enforce New York’s $4.35-per-pack excise tax on cigarettes, including those sold by American Indian tribes on reservations, according to a Legislative Gazette report.
In 2010, the New York State Legislature passed a law requiring the collection of taxes on cigarette sales to non-tribal members. This past June, the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court denied a motion by the Seneca Nation of Indians to extend a ban on the collection of the taxes until a legal challenge against the state is decided, as CSNews Online previously reported.
“It has been our consistent position that cigarettes should be taxed under the law, and the courts have repeatedly agreed,” said Cuomo. “The law is the law, and we will enforce it. Everyone must pay their fair share, and that includes those who sell cigarettes.”
The Seneca and Oneida nations have both stated that their reservations are protected from taxes. “As always, our status as a sovereign nation prevents, by federal treaty, enforcement of state taxes on our territorial commerce,” said Seneca Nation President Robert Odwai Porter. “We will never take any action to collect state taxes or allow the state to do so on our territory. That is not something that’s open for discussion.”
The state Department of Taxation and Finance has created a tax-exempt coupon system in order to collect taxes on cigarettes sold to non-tribe members by American Indian retailers, according to spokeswoman Susan Burns. “The issue is that Native Americans were selling non-taxed cigarettes to non-Native Americans in their smoke shops and retail shops,” Burns said. “And the courts have ruled that the tax on non-Native Americans must be collected.”
Recently, federal and N.Y. state authorities seized large amounts of tobacco products that did not have tax stamps or had counterfeit ones — 19,744 cartons of cigarettes, 24,882 cigars and 33.75 pounds of tobacco with a total estimated tax value of $1.2 million were seized from 357 retail locations over three weeks, according to the report.
There was also a 14-percent increase in cigarettes with tax stamps from May to June, according to the Department of Taxation and Finance. The department inspects stamping agent facilities, which the Commissioner of Finances authorizes to place the stamps on tobacco products to ensure they are legally stamped. It also searches these facilities for unstamped tobacco products; gathers information about individuals who transport untaxed products; and stops vehicles it suspects are transporting untaxed products.
Overall, the state Division of the Budget estimated it will receive approximately $1.57 billion from cigarette taxes in 2011, said department spokesman Morris Peters.
Csnews

Tobacco price increase offsets New Hampshire tax cut

Some believe promises the state would increase sales by cutting the tobacco tax may turn out to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
As the Republican majority in the New Hampshire House fought for the tobacco tax decrease during the budget process, one of their core arguments was the tax cut would lead to more auxiliary sales and increased profits.
“We strongly believe that reducing this tax will result in more revenue, more economic growth and more tax cuts,” said House Speaker William O’Brien in a June statement about the tax cap.
The recent passing of the state budget brought the tobacco tax down from $1.78 per pack to $1.68 per pack, lowering the price of cigarettes by 10 cents a pack and $1 a carton. But that didn’t last long.
Soon after the tax cut went into effect July 1, tobacco companies raised wholesale cigarette prices, essentially leaving prices as they were before.
At Bursaw’s Pantry on Lafayette Road in Portsmouth cigarette prices remain virtually unchanged because of the price increases. Owner John Bursaw said the increases vary. Most wholesalers took back 90 percent of the savings from the tax break. Some took back 80 percent and a few took back 50 percent.
At Cabot Street Market in Portsmouth the price of cigarettes went down for three days when the tax decrease took effect, but the prices are back to where they were because of the recent price increases, according to store clerk Fred Heick.
Heick said sales on cigarettes appear to be up so far this month because the state’s prices are still cheaper than the bordering states, but customers are starting to scratch their heads about the prices.
“Because we did go down in price there have been questions about why we went up again,” Heick said.
Heick said it’s not unusual for tobacco prices to go up during the year.
According to published reports, the Altria Group raised the price of its Philip Morris USA cigarette brands 9 cents per pack, while Lorillard increased its various brands by 5 to 11 cents per back and the RJ Reynolds Company went up 9 cents per pack on their brands.
Shrinking demand was one of the reasons cited by the companies for the increase.
With the recent spike in cigarette prices on the heels of the tax decrease, some are having a hard time seeing how the state is going to increase sales.
Mike Rollo, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society, said things are exactly the same as they were before and there is no additional money in the pockets of consumers.
Rollo, a former state legislator, warned tobacco prices would increase by about 10 cents per pack when he spoke against the tax cut earlier this year. “If you’re a tobacco company, why would you leave a 10-cent profit on the table?” Rollo asked.
Rollo called claims of increasing sales from the tax cut misleading and estimates the cut will cost the state $14 million in revenues over the next two years.
“They basically gave a bailout to the tobacco companies,” he said. “They certainly didn’t help the consumer or the small-business owner.”
State Rep. Laura Pantelakos, D-Portsmouth, said cutting the tobacco tax was the wrong move in a year when so many state agencies lost funding and people lost their jobs. “It takes away a lot of money from things we could’ve funded,” she said.
She also has her doubts about how many people actually cross the borders to purchase cigarettes in New Hampshire.
Pantelakos said the fact the prices went up just as the tax cut went into effect just adds insult to injury. “If there’s going to be a savings, I want to see the customers get that savings, and that’s not going to happen with the tobacco tax decrease,” she said.
She noted a tax cut should benefit the whole population, not just a segment of it.
John Dumais, president of the New Hampshire Grocers Association, thinks New Hampshire still has an advantage. He stressed the increase from the tobacco companies is nationwide and averages 10 cents a pack and $1 a carton.
“Tobacco companies have a tradition of increasing at the wholesale level once in the winter, once in the summer,” he said. “They go up nationwide equally, so every state feels it equally.”
Therefore, New Hampshire still has a major price advantage that makes it attractive to those coming from Massachusetts or Maine, according to Dumais.
Maine’s tobacco tax is $2 per pack, Massachusetts is $2.51 per pack and Vermont went up to $2.62 a pack.
“There’s still a great advantage to coming to New Hampshire,” Dumais said. “If the tax cut hadn’t gone through, prices would’ve gone up anyways. The perception may be there’s no benefit, but there’s still substantial benefit for New Hampshire residents and out-of-state visitors.”
He said the fact the increase in tobacco prices followed New Hampshire’s tax cut is more ironic than anything.
“The tobacco companies have a long history of increasing their prices twice a year,” he said. “They didn’t think about little New Hampshire when they did it. They’re thinking about how to pay insurance, energy and packaging costs.”
New Hampshire Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Morse said the Legislature has no control over what tobacco companies do and stands by the decision to cut the tax, claiming it will generate more revenue in the long run because out-of-staters will come to New Hampshire to take advantage of the lower prices.
“The reality is prices went up everywhere,” he said. “But with the tax cut, we still have the New Hampshire advantage.”
Both Morse and Dumais believe the state’s cigarette prices help make the state a popular tourist destination, which in turn helps with taxes collected from people staying in hotels, eating meals and purchasing alcohol and lottery tickets, all of which help drive revenue in the state.
Dumais said it will be a few months before they can start to examine how that hypothesis is holding up.
By Aaron Sanborn
asanborn@seacoastonline.com