The Vision for Alternative Development and Ghana Tax Advocacy Network for Health Promotion supported by the Norwegian Cancer Society, have called on Government to increase taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened products to raise revenue and also protect the lives of the citizens from diseases.
In a stakeholders meeting on the need for increment of taxes on these products, Mr Divine Logo, Director of the Research Division of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) who presented a rapid assessment findings on tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened products, said the demand for the products could be reduced by Government through taxation and other pricing mechanisms.
He also urged Government to enforce existing national laws that prevent the exposure of alcohol to the youth.
“Enforce the law to prohibit sales of single sticks of cigarettes and ban the sale of alcoholic drinks in sachet or tot,” he stated.
In addition, Mr Logo encouraged Government to develop mass-reaching health communication campaigns through multiple media formats including the use of graphic images depicting the dangers of the use of such products to change the knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours of tobacco and alcohol users while providing them with information on how to quit.
“There is the need for the government to develop an effective policy on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) to protect the public especially children and the youth by undertaking immediate and concerted effort to regulate or ban advertisements on SSBs on television, radio, billboards, the internet, among others to reduce consumption,” he stated.