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Video | Death, Poverty, and Tobacco Taxes with Prabhat Jha

9/10/14

Tobacco use is one of the greatest public health challenges facing low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). On average, about half of young men and 10% of young women globally become smokers and relatively few stop over the course of their lives. As a result, annual tobacco deaths will rise from about 5 million in 2010 to more than 10 million each year over the next few decades, as the young smokers of today reach middle and old age. Tripling tobacco excise taxes would, in many LMIC, approximately double the average price of cigarettes (and more than double prices of cheaper brands), decrease consumption by about a third and increase tobacco revenues by about a third. Smart strategies that favor excise taxation are urgently needed. Prabhat Jha discusses the latest evidence on the impact of higher taxes on the poor, efforts to counter smuggling and consequences of higher taxes.