World Health Organization mulling global cigarette tax

CJ Ciaramella
The Washington Free Beacon

The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering a global excise tax of up to 70 percent on cigarettes at an upcoming November conference, raising concerns among free market tax policy analysts about fiscal sovereignty and bureaucratic mission creep.

In draft guidelines published this September, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control indicated it may put a cigarette tax on the table at its November conference in Seoul, Korea.

“First we had doctors without borders,” said David Williams, president of the Taxpayer Protection Alliance. “Now you could have taxes without borders. … This is a new frontier in taxes. If they’re successful with this, consumers and taxpayers should be concerned about what’s coming down the pipe.”

Although WHO does not have any power to mandate taxes on sovereign nations, it is considering two proposals on cigarette taxes to present to member countries. The first would be an excise tax of up to 70 percent.

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