Accelerating Progress on Tobacco Taxes in Low and Middle Income Countries

Abstract

75 percent of the world's smokers live in developing countrie. 80 percent of tobacco-attributed deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. To curb the tobacco epidemic in these countries, the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use has committed almost $1 billion to a global, 16-year program that includes a a team of UIC tobacco tax economists led by Dr. Frank Chaloupka.

In the first two years of the project, Dr. Chaloupka and his team undertook an integrated set of activities in support of significant tobacco tax reforms in low- and middle-income countries, to counter the tobacco industry's oppositional arguments, and to support governments' efforts to implement effective tobacco tax systems that maximize the public health and revenue impact of their tobacco tax system:

  • Identifed and supported in-country experts to provide technical and political support to promote the development and implementation of effective tobacco tax reforms in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

  • Provided ongoing and rapid-response technical assistance to governments and civil society that supports the development and implementation of effective tobacco tax policy, including the implementation of significant increases in tobacco taxes and in support of reforms, where appropriate, to existing, complicated tax systems.

  • Conducted high-level technical workshops that build the technical capacity of tobacco tax policy makers to estimate the revenue and health impact of effective tax policies and use this information to set tobacco tax goals in order to increase the political will to implement such policies.

  • Developed a resource hub for tobacco tax policy makers and others that provide the necessary resources for increasing the knowledge and political will among key decision makers in order to raise the profile of tobacco taxation and create an environment conducive to implementing effective tax policies.

For 2019-2020, Dr. Chaloupka and his team are working on various, integrated activities in support of significant tobacco tax increases in low- and middle-income countries, to counter the tobacco industry's oppositional arguments, and to support governments' efforts to establish cost-effective and evidence-based tobacco tax systems that maximize the public health and revenue impact of their tobacco tax systems.

The UIC Team is developing the capacity of think tank partners in four countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) and two regions (Latin America and Southeastern Europe) to develop the local evidence base for effective tobacco tax policies. The UIC Team is working directly and with in-country think tank partners to provide ongoing and rapid-response technical assistance to governments and civil society, including in-country Bloomberg Initiative (BI) Partners.

Affiliated Center/Program

Principal investigator
Funding Agency

Bloomberg Philanthropies supports this work with two consecutive $8 million grants from the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.


Co-Investigators

Evan Blecher, PhD
Maryam Mirza, PhD
Germán Rodriguez-Iglesias, MSc
Ce Shang, PhD

Start date
01/01/2017
End date
12/31/2020
Total award
$16,000,000
Website

Follow the team's work at Tobacconomics.org

News releases


"$8 million grant to reduce tobacco use in high-use countries" (UIC News, 5/2/2017)

"Michael R. Bloomberg Commits $360 Million to Reduce Tobacco Use – Raising Total Giving on Tobacco Control Efforts to Nearly $1 Billion" (Bloomberg Philanthropies website, 12/5/2016)