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


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

$1.4 billion

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

$31 billion

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

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

860 million

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

Research funding provided by

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

Recent updates

  • January 15, 2019

    UIC Think Tank Partners Make the Case for Returning to a Two-tiered Taxation Structure in Pakistan at the 34th Annual Conference of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists

    Pakistan’s tobacco tax structure has undergone many changes in the past decade. Prior to 2013, the country had a highly complex three-tier Federal Excise Duty (FED) on cigarettes, with specific taxes on lower brands, ad-valorem taxes on premium brands levied as a percentage of retail price, and a combination of the two on medium brands. The tax structure was simplified in 2013, abolishing the ad-valorem component, making it a two-tier system instead. However, in 2017, a third tier was again introduced. At the 34th Annual Conference of the Pakistan Society of Development Economics last month, UIC think tank partners, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC), launched two new research reports that make the case for a more simplified tobacco tax structure in Pakistan. Historically, the purpose of tobacco taxation has been to raise the prices of cigarettes and other tobacco products in order … Read more »

  • December 18, 2018

    Southeastern European Think Tanks Present Research at Regional Conference

    Culminating a year-long investigation of tobacco taxation and its impact on consumer behaviors in the SEE region, Tobacconomics think tank partners in the region from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia met in Belgrade with policy makers and public health advocates from the region to present their breakthrough findings and recommendations. Although the prevalence of tobacco consumption (mainly cigarette smoking) has declined within the last few years in most of the countries, the rate is still higher-than-average, and has actually increased among young people. Additionally, all countries fall below the 70% excise rate on cigarettes as recommended by the WHO. The research from the region examined data at the micro- and macro-economic levels to estimate the elasticity of demand for tobacco products, that is, consumer behavioral responses to changes in price of tobacco products. Moreover, the groups simulated these changes in price to estimate the impact on … Read more »