Nicotine and Tobacco Research Special Supplement: Economic Aspects of Tobacco Use in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

The impact of tobacco use on morbidity and mortality worldwide is exceedingly large. Tobacco use is expected to cause 8 million deaths per year by 2030, amounting to 1 billion deaths by the end of the century; the large majority of these deaths is projected to occur in lower and middle income countries (LMICs); (Mathers & Loncar, 2006). This impact, however, is preventable. The principal strategy for containing the global tobacco epidemic was formalized in 2003, when the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) spelled out the common elements for tobacco control. The WHO FCTC, which has been ratified by 177 parties, underscores the importance of economic arguments in tobacco control (World Health Organization, 2003). In recognizing the influence of tobacco prices on tobacco use and its consequences, WHO has identified tobacco taxation as one of the very cost-effective interventions against noncommunicable diseases (World Health Organization, 2013).

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January 2012