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860 million

adult smokers live in LMICs, and approximately 226 million are living in poverty

7 million

preventable deaths each year occur due to tobacco use

A 10% increase

in tobacco taxes will lead to a 4% decrease in smoking in HICs, and a 6% decrease in LMICs on average

$1.4 billion

total has been lost globally due to the economic cost of smoking


in profit is gained by tobacco companies annually for each tobacco-related death


of tobacco-attributed deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries

Research funding provided by

  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Legacy
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

$31 billion

in the U.S. alone would be gained if global illicit trade were eliminated, and over 160,000 lives would be saved

Recent updates

  • September 11, 2018

    Latin America Tobacco Tax Research Network in Full Swing

    Last week at the Mercosur Parliament in Montevideo, Uruguay, the Tobacconomics team participated in a research review meeting with its Latin America think tank partner network coordinated by the South American Network on Applied Economics (Red Sur). The Tobacco Taxes in Latin America project mobilizes seven Latin American research centers to study tobacco tax policy alternatives in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru, where 263,000 people die annually from tobacco-related causes. This research is now entering the results phase and will provide analysis of the impacts of the tobacco tax structure and recent tax reforms on tobacco consumption and production in Argentina, propose sustainable tax schemes for Peru and Ecuador, estimate the demand for tobacco products and revenue and distributive impacts of increasing tobacco taxes in Mexico, and examine the trade of inputs to cigarette production between Brazil and Paraguay and how this contributes to illicit trade. The research was generated through … Read more »

  • August 10, 2018

    Tobacco Tax Increases Are Needed to Achieve the SDGs

    Although tobacco taxes may not seem to be the topic du jour in many development policy circles, these taxes, as part of a comprehensive tobacco control package, are helpful in achieving many of the sustainable development goals. A new brief by Tobacconomics Director, Frank Chaloupka, makes the case for increasing tobacco taxes as a way to achieve progress on multiple Sustainable Development Goals. The key point of the brief is that while tobacco taxation is an important policy instrument in improving public health, it also furthers other development priorities, including education, nutrition, poverty-eradication, reducing inequality, and responsible production and consumption. Drawing upon recent research from the World Health Organization and the United States National Cancer Institute, this brief highlights the harms of tobacco use and impacts of tobacco taxes on reducing these harms against the backdrop of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For instance, the global health and economic costs from … Read more »