Cancer Center Warns against Reducing Tobacco Prices

13-12-2012 12:00 AM

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - The King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) on Tuesday warned against any measures to reduce prices of tobacco products, citing fatal health risks associated with smoking.

KHCC's warning came after media outlets reported that tobacco companies in the kingdom submitted requests to the government to reduce the price of cigarettes 26 percent, with the pretext that its sales have dropped as a result of the ease of smuggling tobacco products across the Jordanian-Syrian border amid political crisis in the neighboring country.

Head of the Cancer Combatting Office at Al Hussein Cancer Center Dr. Firas al-Hawari stressed that smoking is directly linked to serious diseases including cancer and heart disease, citing that the tobacco companies' request to reduce prices of cigarettes "stems from international tobacco companies' policies seeking to maximize their profits at the expense of individual and societal health and productivity."

"This is in line with the companies' methods of exploiting difficult conditions to market addictive tobacco products," al-Hawari added in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The King Hussein Cancer Center urged government agencies, including the Ministries of Health, Finance, Industry and trade, to prevent any in prices of tobacco products, and called for an increase in taxes on such products as a measure to combat the dangerous smoking habits.

Al-Hawari noted that Jordan was among the first countries to ratify the international agreement to combat smoking, a convention that obligates Jordan to put serious measures to combat the spread of smoking.

Imposing more taxes and raising the price of tobacco products are among the most effective strategies to limit smoking habits and addiction, al-Hawari added.

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