Who Is Ready For An International Tobacco Tax?


Reporters and tobacco industry observers were given the boot from a World Health Organization meeting on instituting an international tobacco tax aimed at suppressing tobacco use and addressing tobacco bootlegging.

The World Health Organization — the U.N.’s public health policy arm — kicked the public and the media out of a discussion of a proposed international tobacco tax during its biennial tobacco control meeting.

The WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which is meeting this week in the South Korean capital of Seoul, began on a high note. The convention’s member countries on Monday ratified an agreement to fight smuggled and pirated tobacco products.

That goodwill was quickly destroyed when delegates of the member countries of the conference stripped the media of the ability to cover the meeting and escorted public onlookers from the premises. The decision to meet behind closed doors occurred when a discussion began about efforts to decrease tobacco use by increasing the price of tobacco products.

As the session began, the session’s chairwoman expressed concern that there was a “large presence” of tobacco growers and industry representatives in the public gallery.

The WHO is considering either a 70% flat excise tax on tobacco, or a $0.05/pack tax on cigarettes sold in “first world” countries.

The likely result of further tax hikes on tobacco is more black market tobacco. Which is always the result when the government institutes prohibitionist policies.

Markets are dynamic. Regulations are static.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Flyby_Knight

    I, for one, welcome our new international overlords.

  • JW -American

    when everything goes to hell.
    and the leftest get everything they want…

    Will they then tax Soylent Green?

    • borborygmi

      We need to perfect Soylent Green. Are you volunteering? Perhaps will a good Chianti and some Fava Beans.

  • ND in MD

    I admit it has been a long time since I was in high school and studied the UN, but as I recall, the UN was founded after WWII to prevent such events from happening again – if nations could just discuss their problems, future wars could be avoided.

    What does this proposal have to do with preventing future wars? Talk about mission creep. What authority does the UN have to collect the proposed tax in the United States? Other than the buffoon in the White House and those on Capitol Hill.

    With civil wars, border classes, problems in the Mid-East, the world is far from a place of peace and understanding, may be the UN should complete its original mission before taking on more.

  • borborygmi

    are we still subsidizing tobacco growing?

  • Thresherman

    Apparently they learned all they know about “transparency” from Democrats.

  • the Fighting Czech

    Well I would guess if this was to happen, it would be just one more nail in the coffin of hope of ever finding a cure for cancer.