The federal government has introduced a new cigarette tax regime that will raise the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes from N58 to N84, while shisha will be taxed at N3,000 per litre.
Making this disclosure at the launch of the Tobacco Control Data Initiative Dashboard in Abuja, the Minister of State for Health Olorunnimbe Mamora disclosed that the new cigarette tax regime which took effect from June 1, 2022 will span till 2024.
“Excise rate has been increased from N58 to N84 per pack of 20 sticks of cigarette, and this will further be increased to N94 per pack in 2023; and then N104 per pack in 2024,” Mr Mamora said.
“Also, Shisha is now taxed at the rate of N3,000 per litre and N1,000 per kilogram and this will be increased yearly by N500,” he added.
Mr Mamora explained that the tax is an effective public health control measure against behavioural risk factors attached to the consumption of cigarettes, adding that it has the potential to reduce demand and consumption of tobacco products.
He said that the tax will also prompts tobacco users to switch expending their resources on tobacco products to healthy alternatives such as education, health, nutrition.
The World Bank encouraged Nigeria’s government to put special tariffs on alcohol, cigarettes, and sugar-sweetened beverages earlier in December 2021 to assist finance primary healthcare throughout the nation.
At a special National Council on Health meeting held by the Federal Ministry of Health on Friday in Abuja, Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Group’s Country Director for Nigeria, noted that taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages would lessen the health risks associated with their consumption and increase the fiscal space for universal health coverage after COVID-19.