Kuwait mulls tobacco tax hike

The Ministry of Health is considering increasing the tax on tobacco & removing the subsidy on sugar in a bid to improve residents’ health

Kuwait may increase the tax on tobacco products and cancel subsidies for sugar under proposals being considered by the Ministry of Health.

The moves would help prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country but would require Cabinet approval, Ministry of Health Undersecretary Khaled Al Sahlawi told the United Nations during a meeting in New York to discuss progress on the 2011 political declaration on NCDs.

“The Ministry is considering a number of ideas, before presenting them to the cabinet to take a decision, to end government’s subsidy on sugar while providing people with a healthier alternative,” Al Sahlawi said, according to state media agency KUNA.

“These ideas also include increasing tax on tobacco products to reduce smoking as Kuwait has one of the world’s lowest tobacco tax rates.”

A packet of cigarettes in most Gulf states costs a couple of dollars, compared to about $20 in some Western countries, which have significant tobacco taxes.

Al Sahlawi also said the ministry was working with education authorities to raise student awareness about the health implications of smoking.

He said the government already had persuaded bakeries to reduce salt in bread by 20 percent to prevent high blood pressure and other vascular diseases.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Why the Qatar hacking incident has revived Gulf tensions

Why the Qatar hacking incident has revived Gulf tensions

Analysts say the incident was far more than a security breach...

Trump's Saudi embrace, Iran disdain upend Obama's vision

Trump's Saudi embrace, Iran disdain upend Obama's vision

Analysts say Trump's actions mark a stark departure from the...

WEF has a plan, but it is up to the Middle East to make it happen

WEF has a plan, but it is up to the Middle East to make it happen

Organisation knows what the GCC has to do to meet the challenges...

Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking