How Tobacco Taxes Can Expand Fiscal Space and Benefit the Poor

Publication | May 2014

Out of the world’s 1.2 billion smokers, two-thirds live in just 15 countries, 6 of which—the People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam—are in Asia.

This issue shows that increasing cigarette taxes can bring about substantial fiscal, health, and poverty impacts in the People’s Republic of China, India, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

Highlights

  • Without intervention, cigarette smoking will eventually kill about 267 million current and future smokers in the People’s Republic of China, India, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
  • In these five Asian countries, increasing tobacco taxes is a pro-poor measure that can reduce the number of smokers and smoking-related deaths, and generate substantial new revenues.
  • Use of these new revenues to finance health services for the poor can increase impacts on both poverty and health.