A Good First Step: Mexico Updates its Tobacco Tax for Inflation

Mexico has just approved an update for inflation to the Special Tax on Production and Services (IEPS) for tobacco as part of its “Economic Package for the Fiscal Year 2020”—the first update of the tax since 2011. For 2020, this translates to an increase of the IEPS from 0.35 to 0.498 pesos per stick, or from 7 to 9.96 pesos per pack, making a pack of cigarettes about 3 pesos (or $US 0.15) more expensive. After 2020, the IEPS will be updated annually for observed inflation. Read More

Increasing Tobacco Taxes ≠ Increasing Illicit Trade: A Look at Brazil’s Working Group

In response to growing concerns about illicit trade, the Brazilian government formed a working group in March of this year to determine whether reducing tobacco taxes would solve the problem. Although formed in response to industry arguments that tobacco taxes were the cause of increasing illicit trade, within six months, this group concluded that reducing taxes not only would not reduce illicit trade, but would, instead, have negative fiscal, tax, and health implications. In order to curb illicit trade, the group concluded, better coordination between Ministries of Finance, Health, and Foreign Affairs as well as the police force, is necessary for more effective tobacco control. Read More

Tobacconomics Welcomes New Partners, Expands Research With Continuing Partners

Tobacconomics, a grant-funded research initiative of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), welcomes five new research partners to build the evidence base for effective tobacco tax policies in low- and middle-income countries. The new partners include: the Center for Indonesia’s Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI) in Jakarta, Indonesia; the Ark Foundation in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Centro de Investigación Económica y Presupuestaria (CIEP) in Mexico City, Mexico; Universidade Católica de Brasília (UCB) in Brasilia, Brazil; and El Centro de Estudios Distributivos Laborales y Sociales Argentina (CEDLAS) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In addition to the new partnerships, Tobacconomics is also pleased to announce the continuing work with partners from the Americas, South and Southeast Asia, and the Southeastern Europe regions. Read More

Tobacco Economics Research Run Down at Vietnam Economics Annual Meeting

Some of the best moments of our work are those where we have the opportunity to meet with our partners face-to-face and see them present their research to a broader audience. A few weeks ago at the 11th Vietnam Economists Annual Meeting (VEAM)—hosted by our partner in Vietnam, DEPOCEN—we were able to do just that. Read More

New Bill in the Philippines Passed to Increase Tobacco Taxes is a True ‘Win-Win’

In 2012, the Philippines enacted one of the most significant tobacco tax reforms in history. The Sin Tax Reform Act (STL) reformed the tobacco excise tax system by replacing its four-tier system of taxation with a uniform specific tax on all cigarette brands of 30 PHP per pack by 2017. This meant that the previous tax rates of 2.72 PHP per pack of cigarettes on low- and medium-priced brands and 12 pesos on premium brands all shifted to 30 PHP—amounting to more than a 1000% tax increase on the cheapest brands. Read More