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Ukraine Needs a Tobacco Harm Reduction Strategy

March
The adoption of the regulation is in great jeopardy because of the potential revenue loss to the Ukrainian budget, which was designed to receive excise taxes not only from cigarettes, but from anything and everything.
A few days ago, MPs submitted an amendment for a more reasonable increase in excise taxes over the period from 2021 to 2024 on heated tobacco products (HTPs), which would allow less harmful products to compete with consumer-killing cigarettes. Although the adoption of the regulation is in great jeopardy because of the potential revenue loss to the Ukrainian budget, which was designed to receive excise taxes not only from cigarettes, but from anything and everything that a smoker consumes, irrespective of the extent of the product’s harm.
It is crucial for Ukraine, when setting out to apply THR as an effective part of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy, to bear in mind the main goal of the effort, namely ending the epidemic of smoking while avoiding unreasonably harsh bans (or regulations) and excessive tax pressure that would impede access to safer and potentially life-saving products.