Sustainable Development or Tobacco
Tobacco is an obstacle to sustainable development. Read here about how tobacco harms people and the environment and its impact on sustainability.Read more
Our new study Ungenutzte Ressourcen shows: tobacco taxes are a public health policy generating revenues for governments. This paper is published in German, read the English summary here.
Adopting the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the convention’s parties committed themselves to raise tobacco taxes. Longtime research had shown that higher prices for tobacco products lead people to not start smoking, to smoke less or to stop smoking.
According to the WHO, tobacco taxes should have the following characteristics to effectively decrease tobacco use. Tobacco taxes should
Our new study explains more on effects and composition of tobacco taxes.
Tobacco taxes can contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the global south. A worldwide increase in tobacco taxes of about 80% per cigarette pack would generate revenue amounting to 141 billion US dollar.
That is about 140-fold the amount which is currently attributed to tobacco control worldwide, which the WHO estimates at yearly 1 billion US dollars. Tobacco control is chronically underfinanced.
Tobacco use is still not acknowledged as the most preventable health risk. In the area of development aid for health (DAH) this is apparent as well. In 2015, funds for tobacco control amounted to 41 million US dollars worldwide. This is equivalent to only 0,1% of all DAH funds.
Therefore, tobacco taxes could contribute immensely to financing tobacco control. It would be a matter of dedicating or earmarking these revenues directly to public health policies. Some countries like Costa Rica, Congo or Australia already practice it.
In tobacco growing countries, tobacco tax revenues could also be channelled to alternative livelihoods for tobacco farmers, like in the Philippines.
Graen (2016): Ungenutzte Ressourcen: Tabaksteuern und nachhaltige Entwicklung [GERMAN only]
Graen (2016): Untapped Resources – English Summary
Tobacco taxes can generate domestic resources for governments to finance health and development policies.
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