We are devoted to improving access to economic research and information that can impact and inform tobacco policy. As a program of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Tobacconomics is not affiliated with any tobacco manufacturer. Learn about us »

$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


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

7 million

preventable deaths each year occur due to tobacco use


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

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 Research

A 10% increase

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

Recent updates

  • March 7, 2019

    Research Makes the Case for Increased Tobacco Taxes in Pakistan and Southeastern Europe

    New research from Pakistan- and Southeastern Europe-based think tanks find that tobacco taxation increases can reduce tobacco consumption and at the same time increase government revenues in the regions. In Pakistan, research results from the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC) recommend a simplified tax structure that has only two tiers of taxation, instead of the three tiers currently used in the country. Along with restoring tax levels to 2016 rates, this simplification would result in an estimated 3 million fewer smokers and 1.1 million fewer premature deaths and generate an estimated Rs 91.2 billion in new government revenues. PIDE and SPDC were supported by grants to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to conduct economic research on the impact of tobacco taxes in Pakistan. UIC is a partner of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use. Similar results were also obtained by the … Read more »

  • May 8, 2018

    Two More Countries Join Tobacconomics Partnerships to Reduce Global Tobacco Use

    Researchers from Pakistan and Bangladesh have become the newest members of Tobacconomics’ international partners that will conduct economic research to help inform and shape tobacco control policies in the two countries. The new international partners are the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) in Bangladesh, the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC) in Pakistan. They join an existing partnership of six organizations covering 14 countries that was announced on March 9, 2018. The partnership, coordinated by Tobacconomics policy researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Institute for Health Research and Policy, engages in research to produce local evidence on the economic impacts of tobacco taxation. Both Pakistan and Bangladesh have complex tax systems on tobacco products, and both have opportunities to increase tobacco taxes, reduce tobacco consumption and generate new revenues that can be used for health and development efforts. Researchers from … Read more »