Pakistan Institute of Development Economics


Tobacco Tax Policies: Formulation, Effectiveness, and Challenges

Date : Octoberober 29, 2020 at 6:00 PM
Moderator: Dr. Nadeem ul Haq (Vice Chancellor PIDE)
Panelists : Dr. Frank Chaloupka, Research professor in the Division of Health Policy and Administration of the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Dr. Roberto Iglesias, Specialist on tobacco and unhealthy food taxation. Ch. Muhammad Tarique, Member (Inland Revenue-Policy) at Federal Board of Revenue. Dr. Mahmood Khalid, Senior Research Economist at the Macroeconomic Section at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. Mr. Muhammad Sabir, Principal Economist at the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC).

With around 24 million active adult tobacco users, Pakistan ranks among the largest tobacco consuming countries in the world. The prevalence rates among men and women are 32.4% and 5.7%, respectively. Among the in-school youth (aged 13–15 years) in different cities, tobacco prevalence ranges between 6.1% and 14.1%. This situation requires the government to make corrective policies to alter public behavior in the interest of individuals and society at large. One way to do this is through taxation policies. Increasing tobacco taxes have been found to reduce its consumption. Despite the empirical evidence that tax policy is effective in reducing tobacco consumption, increasing revenues, and improving public health outcomes, the country’s taxation policy is among the weakest action areas in the fight against tobacco.