Thailand should gradually increase excise tax on tobacco as part of efforts to reduce the number of smokers, because taxes on cigarettes are not working, according to Prakit Vathesatogkit, a prominent tobacco control advocate.
He said the inappropriate tax structure between cigarette and tobacco was the weakest factor in the country's failed efforts to reduce the number of smokers.
The low tax charged on tobacco resulted in price difference between cigarettes and tobacco. Therefore, whenever the government raises the tax on cigarettes, many smokers turn to smoking tobacco, which is much cheaper, and roll their own.
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