Improving Tobacco Tax Policies in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tax policy is one of the most effective means of reducing the consumption of tobacco products, which has been shown in multiple studies carried out by leading researchers in the field of health economics (Acharya et al. 2016, Chaloupka et al. 2010, John 2008, Bader et al. 2011, Ross et al. 2003, WHO, 2016, etc.).

In countries with medium and low-income levels, the price elasticity of demand for tobacco products ranges between -0.2 and -0.8 (Acharya et al. 2016). In other words, a 10% increase in the price of tobacco products can reduce consumption between 2%-8%, resulting in positive effects on the health of the population, and also creating an increase in revenue for the government.

Based on the current data on the number of smokers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the mortality attributable to tobacco products is projected to be 600,000 (WHO, 2016). In line with the suggestions of the WHO report on tobacco control, it is possible to improve the existing policy in such a way that both the number of smokers and the consumption of tobacco products are reduced.

A corresponding Report can be found here.