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Tripling the tax on tobacco would cut smoking worldwide by a third and prevent 200 million early deaths this century, according to leading researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Professor Sir Richard Peto of Oxford University and Professor Prabhat Jha of the University of Toronto say that boosting the tax by a large fixed amount per cigarette would encourage people to quit smoking altogether rather than switch to a cheaper brand, and would help stop young people from starting.

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