Cambodia is being urged to raise taxes on tobacco products to 75 percent of the retail price in order to collect an additional $235 million in revenue over the next five years and $933 million over the next 15 years, according to the United Nations Study on Investment in Tobacco Control in 2019.
Dr Mom Kong, executive director of the Cambodian Movement for Health, stated that Cambodia has one of the lowest tariff rates on tobacco products in Asean and that the current tariff rate on tobacco products compared to retail prices is only 25 percent for domestic cigarettes and 31.1 percent for imported cigarettes, while Thailand has a tariff rate of 70 percent, Singapore 67.5 percent and Myanmar 50 to 60 percent.
“Raising tariffs on tobacco products is a win-win strategy that gives Cambodia extra income, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as reducing the impact of tobacco use,” Kong said.
In addition, he said raising tobacco taxes reduces mortality and disability due to the decline in tobacco usage which indicates that negative health effects are also reduced. He added that raising taxes on tobacco products is the desire of the people.