Ethiopia passes smoking excise bill

Ethiopia has passed landmark legislation with the aim of curbing smoking in the country. The WHO worked in partnership with civil society groups, the media, medical and professional associations, the government including the Ethiopian Ministry of finance in advocating for the passing of the legislation.

The WHO FCTC recommends an increase in taxes as a significant measure to reduce the economic burden and risks associated with tobacco consumption and the impact it has on society. On the 18th of February 2020, the Ethiopian government took a step in addressing issues of tobacco, adding a 30% tax rate of the cost of producing cigarettes, in addition to a specific excise rate of eight Ethiopian Birr (ETB) (USD$ 0.25) on each individual packet. This is viewed as a great commitment by Ethiopia as prior to the approval of this bill, cigarettes in Ethiopia were among the cheapest in the world, even in comparison to other African countries.

This is a great milestone for Ethiopia, addressing one of the leading causes of non-communicable diseases such cancer, cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive lung disease.

For a full insight read the full article published by the World Health Organisation here.