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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

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


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


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

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

  • October 1, 2018

    Southeastern Europe Tobacco Tax Research Consortium Examines Demand for Tobacco Products

    Last month in Belgrade, Serbia, the Tobacconomics team joined with think tank partners in the region to discuss ongoing research on the impacts of tax and demand for tobacco products. The meeting was hosted by the Institute for Economic Sciences and included consortium members from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Across the region, smoking prevalence is high – between 30 and 40 percent of adults are daily smokers. Difference in prevalence between genders varies by country, being the highest in Albania (51.2% men, 7.6% women) and the lowest in Montenegro (36.2% men, 34.5% women) and Serbia (40.2% men, 37.7% women). The prevalence among youth is estimated to be above 15%. Smoking related illnesses have been a major cause of premature death. However, despite this, there has been very little attention to the negative health and economic consequences from tobacco consumption.  During the 1990s, the region experienced … Read more »

  • 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 »