Cancer fight: Increase taxes on cigarette, alcohol, sugar-sweetening beverages – Govt told
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is suggesting to the Government of Ghana to increase taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages as part of interventions to reduce cancer among the youth.
Health experts observed the rate at which cancer is causing premature death among Ghanaian youth is alarming.
As the world marks World Cancer Day, the youth have also been advised to live a healthy lifestyle to minimize the chance of getting any form of cancer.
Though there are no population-based data available for cancer morbidity and mortality patterns in Ghana due to the absence of a population-based cancer registry, health professionals are worried about the rising burden of cancer among the youth.
The report indicates, most males are dying from lung and stomach cancer whiles breast and cervical cancer are also leading causes of cancer death in females.
Some studies have strongly associated cancer with risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and sugary food intake.
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) wants the government to implement policies that will restrict access to these products.
At a forum organized by Breast Care International, a member of UICC to mark World Cancer Day, President and Founder of BCI Dr Beatrice Wiafe Addai said “taxing these products will help the government get more money to support the cancer control mechanisms in the country”.
“The youth are dying prematurely from cancers and something ought to be done to minimize this. Because, as a developing country, we don’t have adequate resources in treating all cancers, our best bet is to prevent our youth from developing these diseases”, she added.
Dr. Wiafe said, as a public health issue, cancers required the attention and commitment of all, pursuant to closing the care gap.
The international celebration of the day is led by the Union for International Cancer Control, UICC, poised to achieve the set target of a cancer-free world envisaged in the year 2000, when the day was established at the world summit against cancer.
At the Peace and Love hospital, health professionals took turns educating the public on preventive ways of developing cancer and also the importance of reporting to the health facility on time for treatment.