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16th  August 2016
Fiji increases tax on tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages​
 
In June 2016, the Government of Fiji increased taxes on tobacco, alcohol and sugar sweetened beverages (1) as all of these increase the risk of developing non communicable diseases (NCDs).(2,3)
 
Indian Medical Association commends the decision to control these cardiovascular risk factors through taxation.
 
Evidence has shown that simple increases in tobacco prices through taxation are the most cost-effective way for governments to reduce tobacco use.
 
According to the WHO a 10% increase in tobacco retail price (in middle income countries) results in a 5% decrease in consumption.
 
It is a well-known fact that tobacco use is the leading preventable risk factor for NCDs, being the single risk factor common to all four main NCDs – cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases.(4)
 
Over the last decade, childhood obesity rates have more than doubled in Fiji.(5) Introduction of a 5% per liter tax on sugary beverages will help prevent childhood obesity through reduction of soft drink consumption.
 
Mexico started a similar tax in 2014. Mexico saw a 12% reduction in sugary drinks sales within a year of the tax being implemented.(6)

 
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Azadi from Diseases
 
New Delhi, August 15, 2016: 15th August should not only be a reminder of independence from the British but a commitment on a yearly basis to eradicate one more disease said Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal - President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Honorary Secretary General IMA. Every year efforts should be made to start a ‘Quit’ India Movement for a particular disease.

The International Task Force for Disease Eradication in 1992 identified six "eradicable" or "potentially eradicable" infectious diseases. These are dracunculiasis, poliomyelitis, mumps, rubella, lymphatic filariasis, and cysticercosis. In 2002, measles was added to this list.
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