Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Tobacco economics

Latest publications

  • Global economic cost of smoking-attributable diseases
    The aim of this study is to measure the global economic cost of smoking-attributable diseases (ie, those caused by direct exposure to smoking). These findings will highlight the need for countries to implement more comprehensive tobacco control measures to address these economic costs, while also helping to achieve global development priorities under the SDGs.
  • Generating revenue by raising tobacco taxes in Latin America and the Caribbean
    The objective of this study was to determine if raising tobacco taxes in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region will generate extra tax revenue, even at outer edges of the sensitivity analysis, with relatively high price elasticities of demand for cigarettes.
  • Tobacco tax reform at the crossroads of health and development
    The World Bank has released its latest tobacco control technical report, with input from WHO. The report details how increasing excise tax rates on tobacco reduces its affordability and lowers its consumption. This underutilized policy measure can simultaneously save millions of lives, reduce poverty, and increase domestic resources for financing development.
  • NCI Tobacco Control Monograph Series 21 - The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control
    This monograph, a collaboration between the National Cancer Institute and WHO, examines the current research and evidence base surrounding the economics of tobacco control—including tobacco use, tobacco growing, manufacturing and trade, tobacco product taxes and prices, and tobacco control policies and other interventions to reduce tobacco use and its consequences. This information can help direct future research and inform tobacco prevention and control programs and policies in countries around the world.
  • Earmarked tobacco taxes: lessons learnt from nine countries
    This publication looks at the experience of nine countries that have an experience in earmarking tobacco tax revenues for health purposes. It describes the challenges, setbacks and achievements of those countries in this field. The studies of the nine countries indicate that there is no single formula for establishing an earmarked fund but that that some advocacy strategies are more likely to result in the desired policy changes and longer-term outcomes.
  • WHO Bulletin: Modelling the impact of raising tobacco taxes on public health and finance
    pdf, 784kb

    A new article on tobacco taxation has been published in the April issue of the WHO Bulletin. The article explores and quantifies the potential for tobacco taxation to contribute to the 2030 agenda for sustainable development by reducing tobacco use, saving lives and generating tax revenues – which in turn can help create the fiscal space required by governments throughout the world to finance their development priorities.
  • The economic and health benefits of tobacco taxation
    The publication produced by the Tobacco Free Initiative of the World Health Organization and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, highlights the importance of tobacco control in the post-2015 development agenda, and the potential for higher taxes on tobacco products to act as a large funding source for governments.


  • Systematic review of the link between tobacco and poverty
    This publication provides an update to the Systematic review of the link between tobacco and poverty published by WHO in 2011. It aims to reassess the difference in smoking prevalence across socioeconomic status categories. The new results confirm again that tobacco prevalence increases as income level goes down.
  • WHO engagement with Member States on tobacco taxation
    The World Health Organization (WHO) has engaged with Ministry of Finance (MoF) officials from a large number of countries around the world to provide technical assistance to Member States on tobacco taxation. This document summarizes the country-level engagements, regional and country tax seminars and meetings since 2007, and recent outcomes in 2012– 2013 and 2013–2014 in tobacco tax policy changes in the countries that WHO has provided support.