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The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2014 (WNTD), held on 31 May, was ‘Raise taxes on tobacco’, a measure considered to be the most cost effective for tobacco control. In 2010, the World Health Report indicated that a 50% increase in tobacco excise taxes would generate a little more than US$1.4 billion in additional funds for 22 low-income countries. If these funds were hypothecated to health, government health spending in these countries could increase by up to 50%.
Evidence from around the world indicates best practice is for the final consumer price of tobacco to consist of at least 70% tax. The 2013 WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic showed that in the Africa region, only two countries—Madagascar and Mauritius—met this benchmark for the most widely sold brand of cigarettes. In the majority of other African countries, tax made up less than 50%. Other regions had a higher number of countries with taxation above 70%, but taxation levels lagged in low and middle income countries in all regions, even while rising incomes have increased the relative affordability of cigarettes.
In this issue, we highlight two countries where legislation to increase taxes have recently been passed, Ukraine and Chile, as well as the latest country to ratify the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Other reports from World No Tobacco Day will be posted on our website at
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Ukraine: 25% tax increase from July 2014
Even amidst its current political turmoil, Ukraine will be among the countries …
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