Health financing for universal coverage

The establishment and use of dedicated taxes for health

World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, 2004

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 80
Publication date: 2004
Languages: English
ISBN: 92 9061 171 5



This report aims to document the history and scope of the use of dedicated taxes for health promotion. It provides a rationale for the introduction of tobacco taxes, some or all of which may be earmarked for health promotion activities. It highlights the processes, strategies and challenges involved, and also summarizes a number of examples of states and countries which have already gone down this track.

The different organizational structures for administering the dedicated funds are described, the underpinning rationales are outlined, and a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of each organizational model is provided. The report also examines legislative and governance considerations, and explores the challenging area of evaluating the organizations and their work.

This report draws on the collective experiences of those countries and states which have introduced dedicated taxes for health promotion or tobacco control purposes. It has been prepared with a view to providing support to WHO Member States and countries wishing to address the obligations contained in the treaty and /or undertake a range of other health promotion activities.