Tobacco levy is too harsh

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The current standoff between the tobacco industry and the government of Botswana wherein the latter slapped the industry with a 30% increase in levy in an effort to curb supply and demand of tobacco products is destined to end in a lose-lose outcome.

As a point of departure government must recognise that the tobacco trade is a legitimate trade not to be annihilated but rather regulated in a free market economy such as ours.

In light of the recent developments the promoters of the tobacco industry are bound to re-strategise in order to survive this onslaught which will result in a vicious circle of blame and counter blame. Government is concerned about the health risks posed by smoking on the one hand and the tobacco industry and, its consumers of legal consent on the other are crying for the freedom to enjoy smoking without being patronised.

Editor's Comment
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