One would think that the primary subject at the world conference of the World Health Organization (WHO) would be Ebola. The disease has begun to jump borders and the potential for a world-wide epidemic is there. However, the organization has decided to set its sights on the tobacco industry
The WHO is holding its meetings in Russia, which has been boycotted by the United States due to their support of the separatists in Ukraine. One of the first orders was kicking the public out of the meetings, despite the meetings be paid for by public tax dollars. Once the public was kicked out the meeting turned to enacting massive new tobacco taxes .
Luckily, the United States has not yet signed on to the WHO treaty, but the global rise of tobacco taxes could have an effect here at home as new higher prices become the norm. The initial proposal on cigarette taxes is 70% while OTP (Cigars, Pipes) taxes have not yet been leaked.
The 70% tobacco tax will affect growers here at home, and could affect the global economy especially in tobacco-growing nations.
Update: Word came out of the conference today that WHO passed the first ever global tobacco tax. Details have yet to emerge as WHO has canceled all daily briefings despite the 20 million in public tax dollars being used to hold the event. According to members of the press who were at the event, they were prohibited from entering by “thugs”.
The taxes collected will be spent as deemed by WHO and not the countries that collect them thus limiting how governments can budget.