Cigarette Tax Scorecard (2nd Edition): Eastern Mediterranean
This Policy Brief was written based on the findings of the second edition Cigarette Tax Scorecard. The policy brief evaluates the cigarette tax policies in the Eastern Mediterranean region. In 2020, the average score in the region was 1.99 points out of 5, demonstrating that there is significant room for improvement. The overall score is an average of the following components: the cigarette price, changes in affordability, the tax share of the price, and the tax structure. The Eastern Mediterranean region performed best on tax share of price. Still, the region scored less than half of the possible points in this component, with an average score of 2.19 points out of 5. The region performed most poorly in the tax structure component, earning an average score of just 1.57 points out of 5. No country in the region uses the optimal uniform specific excise tax with regular adjustments for inflation or income growth. The top performers in the region are Bahrain and Qatar, each with an overall score of 3.88 out of 5. This brief provides further recommendations for governments in the region to address these challenges and improve public health while raising tax revenues.