A new study finds that 200 million deaths could be avoided by the year 2025 if we triple the taxes placed on tobacco around the world, Medical News Today reports. In some countries, the increase would double the price; the difference in cost between the cheapest and most expensive brands would also be diminished, meaning smokers wouldn't be likely to simply switch brands, because doing so wouldn't save them much money, says the World Health Organization.
In addition, the study notes, the higher cost of cigarettes would likely discourage young people from smoking. Extra revenue generated by the tax hike—the authors estimate $100 billion a year—could be spent on health care, the authors say. Though the strategy would be most effective in low- and middle-income countries, the authors say high-income countries would also see a decrease in consumption. Right now, taxes make up 30% to 40% of tobacco's cost in lower-income countries, the Mirror explains, while in higher-income countries, that number is between 50% and 60%. (Read more tobacco stories.)