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China has raised the tax on cigarettes: what's next?
  1. Teh-wei Hu1,2,
  2. Xiulan Zhang3,
  3. Rong Zheng4
  1. 1School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
  2. 2Center for International Tobacco Control, Public Health Institute, Oakland, California, USA
  3. 3China Institute of Health, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, Beijing, China
  4. 4WHO Collaborating Center for Tobacco and Economics, University of International Business of Economics, Beijing, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Teh-wei Hu, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA; thu{at}


The Chinese government raised tobacco tax on 10th May 2015, 10 years after the ratification of the WHO Framework Convention on tobacco control. The increase in the resulting tax rate as a percentage of the retail price from 49% to 56% is still relatively low compared to the WHO-recommended benchmark, which is about 70% of the retail price. Therefore, ample room remains for the Chinese government to further increase the tax on cigarettes.

  • Taxation
  • Economics
  • Public policy
  • Tobacco industry

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  • Collaborators XZ, RZ.

  • Contributors T-wH originated the idea for this paper and drafted the manuscript. XZ provided data sources and reviewed and edited the draft. RZ analysed the data and reviewed and edited the draft.

  • Funding This study was funded by the US National Institute of Health, Fogarty International Center and National Cancer Institution of the National Institutes of Health under award number (R01-TW009295), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the China National Natural Science Foundation (under award number 71373045).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.