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Cigarettes, Mr. Minister?

LEP_0927Original Ukrainian vercion (see last volume of the original article)  is here

New Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili was that until recently  a citizen of Georgia and held there medical reform. In many respects, Georgia and Ukraine ahead of this experience will be helpful. But not all.

If Ukraine – one of the world leaders in the fight the tobacco epidemic, Georgia woven in the tail. The work there in tobacco control – no end. For example, our waiters working in a clean atmosphere, and their Georgian counterparts back home in prosmerdilomu tobacco clothing and headache. The huge difference between the two countries (in our favor) and in the relative number of smokers, the rate of reduction of dependence.

But I fear that these rates can drop significantly and we have. I understand that the new minister is not too well aware of this problem. Because the answer to the question “Do you support the proposal to increase excise NGOs Tobacco from 1 January 2015, at least 30%?” (This will significantly increase revenue and reduce smoking prevalence among different social groups), the Minister replied evasively.

Thus, in general, Mr. Kvitashvili supports high excise taxes on tobacco, but believes that they can raise only gradually, perhaps by 10% annually. Otherwise, he said, could lead to smuggling of cigarettes. It is sad. Sadly, because fable of “smuggling” – nostrum tobacco companies, which they use lobbying containment excise taxes. Sadly, the new minister is caught on. In fact, the price of cigarettes in Ukraine is much lower than in Europe, and smuggling is from Ukraine, but not in Ukraine. Also our prices (depending on the brand) or lower or close to the price of this poison Belarusian, Moldovan, Russian origin. This means that even with these countries is deadly stuff (remember that in the world die from it each year more than eight million people) bring us not profitable.

I hope that the Minister will find time to meet with community activists and experts who insist on raising excise taxes, and allow fans disease prevention bouquet tell about the real situation in Ukraine in this regard and on ways to improve it. Personally, I ask for support in organizing this meeting Mr. Dmitry Simanskoho (Krykun) that during the meeting with journalists introduced himself as “still Adviser to the Minister” (volunteer?). And I hope that Mr Dmitry own position (judging by his expression on the Internet, it antismoking policies do not like) it does not hurt to do it.

Oleg Lystopad Ukrainian vercion is here

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