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  • Brazil ratifies the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products

    Brazil has joined a group of countries committed to reducing tobacco use by stamping out the illegal tobacco trade. It ratified the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (ITP) on 25 May – just a handful of countries are now needed to follow suit before the treaty can come into effect. The Union provided legal advice to Brazil’s government and Congress to secure ratification.


  • Tobacco: a threat to development - A message from José Luis Castro on World No Tobacco Day

    The World Health Organization’s 2017 report on the tobacco epidemic in China reveals some truly startling statistics – 200 million lives will be lost to tobacco in China this century. Economic costs have spiralled by 1000 percent in under 15 years. In 2014 alone the bill was around 350 billion Yuan (US $57 billion).


  • Georgia’s tobacco tax reform built through multi-stakeholder collaboration

    Georgia’s Ministries of Health, Finance and Agriculture have worked together to reform tobacco tax, and have committed to reaching European Union required levels within ten years.


  • Conference plenary: Taxing health-harming products and creating health promotion funds

    The third plenary of the Union World Conference on Lung Health 2015, explored how governments are innovating to transform under-funded areas of public health through taxing products that harm health, and earmarking these increased revenues for specific programmes.


  • Experts review Africa’s progress on tax measures to reduce tobacco use

    Economists and public health experts met to discuss how far tax mechanisms are being used across Africa to reduce tobacco consumption. The central African region was a focus.

    The three-hour special session gathered attendees from 10 countries. Its purpose was to highlight best practice, assess impact and consider how to expedite the progress of this tobacco control measure.


  • United Nations call for tobacco tax to be used to finance sustainable development

    Global leaders in finance and development have called on governments worldwide to consider tobacco tax as a tool to reduce tobacco use and healthcare costs, and as a revenue stream for financing sustainable development.The Union welcomes this call to action, made in the declaration of the United Nations 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16 July.


  • China doubles tax on cigarettes

    The State Council of China has doubled tax on cigarettes from 5 percent to 11 percent. An additional tax of 0.1 Yuan will also be levied on each pack of 20 cigarettes. These new measures came into effect on 10 May.

    The last tobacco tax rise, in May 2009, did not affect consumers as the China Tobacco Corporation absorbed it as profit loss.

    Increasing tax on tobacco products is the most effective measure for reducing tobacco use. When used strategically, increased tax revenues can reduce consumption further by creating sustainable funds for tobacco control and health promotion.


  • Union expert joins Pakistan’s technical working group on tobacco taxation

    A Union expert has joined Pakistan’s technical working group on tobacco taxation, following the launch of a report co-published by The Union which demonstrated that tobacco tax reform could lead to 500,000 quitting cigarettes, and increase tax revenues by 27.2 billion rupees.


  • Pakistan: new study demonstrates how tobacco tax reform could lead to 500,000 quitting cigarettes, and increase tax revenues by 27.2 billion rupees

    A new report published by The Union shows that the introduction of a uniform specific tax accounting for 70% of Pakistan's average cigarette price could lead to half a million smokers quitting, and reduce premature deaths among adult smokers by over 180,000. At the same time more than 27 billion rupees (US $277 million) would be generated in new cigarette tax revenues. Pakistan currently has one of the largest populations of tobacco users in the world, with over 22 million adults smoking tobacco.


  • WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic: Taxes versus Death

    The World Health Organization’s Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic published today suggests that if low- and middle-income countries tripled excise taxes on tobacco, rates of use would drop by about 40 percent. It proposes that this is ‘the most plausible way’ to cut tobacco use in order to reduce non-communicable disease (NCD) deaths by 30 percent by 2030. In other words, tobacco taxes offer a direct route to achieving the United Nations’ ambitious Sustainable Development Goal [SDG] 3.4.


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The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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