Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Can earmarking mobilize and sustain resources to the health sector?

Phusit Prakongsai, Walaiporn Patcharanarumol, Viroj Tangcharoensathien

Volume 86, Number 11, November 2008, 898-901

Table 1. Sample countries with special laws on earmarked taxes for public health and health promotion

State/country Related law Description
State Government of Victoria, Australia 1987: Tobacco Act The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation “VicHealth” (independent statutory body) funded by a 5% dedicated tax levied on tobacco products. Total revenue is US$ 25 million, 40% for promotion of community and school health, 30% for sponsoring sports, 20% for health research, the rest for administration.
United States of America: various states As of 1988: tobacco tax through legislation Used for tobacco control programmes.
New Zealand 1976: levy on alcohol produced or imported for sales in the country Used to reduce harm from alcohol use, mainly through education and research.
Republic of Korea 1995: National Health Promotion Act (tobacco tax) National Health Promotion Fund: health education, antismoking campaigns, limited advertisement of cigarettes and alcohol. Total revenue US$ 1.5 million used to promote health education and antismoking campaigns and to limit advertisements of cigarettes and alcohol.
Thailand 2001: Thai Health Promotion Act (2% earmarked taxes on tobacco and alcohol products) Thai Health Promotion Fund (Thai Health), an autonomous State Agency aiming to advocate, support and finance organizations active in health promotion, including tobacco and alcohol control, traffic accident prevention, health promotion at various levels in communities across the country.
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