Rationale for TobTaxy

TobTaxy is a capacity building project which ran from September 2010 - November 2012 that set out to address a knowledge gap among the public health community in the field of tobacco taxation and illicit trade.

There is convincing evidence from the World Bank, the World Health Organization and tobacco control experts that price increases are the most cost effective tobacco control measures (amongst others), especially for young people and others on low incomes who are highly responsive to the cost of tobacco. Taxation is thus an appropriate and powerful tool for governments to use, both to reduce smoking prevalence and re-balance health inequalities.

However, effective use of the taxation tool by public health advocates requires thorough understanding of tobacco tax and illicit trade issues (as the latter diminishes the effectiveness of high tobacco taxation policies). Due to tobacco tax rules being highly complex and only a few public health advocates understand them sufficiently, TobTaxy set out to address this issue and provide public health advocates with the expertise and skills to confidently support various on-going policy initiatives on taxation and smuggling at national, European and international level. The Project also aimed to increase understanding and use of the Healthy Life Year indicator regarding the opportunity cost (benefits forgone) of doing too little to prevent ill-health.

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