Oman to hike tax on tobacco
February 11, 2018 | 10:30 PM
by Ismael David Mujahid/[email protected]
Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File

Muscat: Tax on tobacco in Oman will soon be doubled, senior officials at the Ministry of Health announced on Sunday.

Set to be levied at 200 per cent, this increase is a part of the Sultanate’s recently launched National Multisectoral Plan for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Tobacco use is the most important of the five primary risk factors that the National Multisectoral Plan for Prevention and Control of NCDs will focus on.

A senior official at the Royal Hospital told the Times of Oman: “There are different plans: One is spreading awareness, another is laws that limit smoking in enclosed areas, and then there are increased taxes on tobacco and smoking. These work together to make smoking more difficult. When you are aware that if you smoke, you will encounter heart disease and cancer, you have to think not once or twice, but three times.”

“The tax on tobacco will be doubled,” he confirmed. The NCD prevention and control road map was outlined by members of the National Committee for NCDs, in accordance with the recommendations of the Council of Ministers. In 2016, Oman raised the tax on tobacco by 100%, along with other GCC states.

The all-encompassing strategy will include a collaboration across every level of the Sultanate’s society, including NGOs, civil associations, as well as businesses. Organisations participating in the fight against NCDs in Oman include the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Sports Affairs, Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Education and the Supreme Council of Planning, as well as Oman Cancer Association, Oman Medical Association, Oman Tobacco Control Association, WHO, and UNICEF.

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