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Tobacco plays a significant role in global economies, which hinders efforts at tobacco control. This page provides links about cigarette prices and affordability, excise taxes, the illicit trade market, and tobacco-related costs to society.

Taxes on tobacco products are one of the most effective tools used in tobacco control. This page links to sources on current tobacco rates, best practices in implementation, and other tobacco tax related resources.

WHO Technical Manual on Tobacco Tax Administration

WHO World Health Organization icon This 2010 technical manual aims to help governments improve health and increase revenues by identifying a set of “best practices” for tobacco taxation. It documents governments’ existing approaches to tobacco taxation, discusses barriers to using tobacco taxes to achieve health and revenue objectives and provides case studies of effective tobacco tax administration.

Big Tobacco Wins Tax Battles

follow the moneyThe National Institute on Money in State Politics analyzes the political campaign contributions of Big Tobacco in the 2012 election cycle. The industry gave nearly $54 million overall, with 87 percent coming from just four tobacco manufacturers: Philip Morris USA, Reynolds American Inc., U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, and Altria. Of that $54 million, tobacco interests gave more than $47 million to help defeat ballot measures that would have raised taxes on tobacco products, and contributed $3.5 million to state-level candidates and $3 million to party committees, with 76 percent going to Republican candidates and committees.

The Impact of Tax and Smoke-Free Air Policy Changes

RWJF Data on State and Local Smokefree Laws This Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report summarizes the progress made over the past two decades in raising cigarette and other tobacco product excise taxes, and in adopting and strengthening policies that limit smoking in public places and private worksites.

RWJF Tobacco Map

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation RWJF iconThe RWJF Tobacco Map uses data from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights and will be updated as new information becomes available. The “map” is actually three distinct maps, each focusing on a different aspect of tobacco policy. They provide state-by-state breakdowns on smoke-free laws, cigarette tax rates, and total tobacco control spending.

Saving Lives, Saving Money: Tobacco Tax Report

Cancer Action Network, American Cancer Society ACS CAN iconThis 2011 report from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network measures the dramatic health and economic benefits of enacting tobacco tax increases. The report quantifies lives saved, reduction in smokers, and health costs saved in each state from implementing these strong tobacco control policies.

Tobacco Tax Fact Sheets

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids CTFKThe Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has compiled dozens of fact sheets on tobacco tax topics including U.S. state and local taxes, federal taxes, taxes on other tobacco products, and reducing smuggling and tax evasion.

Strategic Thinking on State Tobacco Tax Increases

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation RWJF iconThe 2003 report is designed to assist public health advocates in recognizing and weighing the strategic decisions that must be made before beginning a campaign to increase tobacco taxes at the state level.

Tobacco smuggling and illicit trade not only undermines the effectiveness of tobacco control policies like taxes, youth access laws, and packaging requirements, but it results in large losses of revenue for governments. This page links to resources regarding illicit trade around the world, the effects, and how to stop it.

FCTC Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products

Framework Convention on Tobacco Control WHO FCTC icon logo The new treaty aims at eliminating all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products by requiring Parties to the Protocol to take measures to control the supply chain of tobacco products effectively and to cooperate internationally on a wide range of matters. The provisions include: licensing for manufacturing, due diligence, tracking and tracing, record-keeping, security and preventive measures, sale by Internet, telecommunication or any other evolving technology, free zones and international transit, and duty free sales.

Reducing Tobacco Smuggling and Tax Evasion

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids CTFKThe Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has compiled numerous fact sheets discussing smuggling and tax evasion in the tobacco industry. Topics include the Federal Smuggled Tobacco Prevention Act, gray vs. black markets, and proposed measures to reduce smuggling and illicit trade.

This page links to resources about how tobacco effects the global economy and the economies within various countries.

Tobacco Documents Bibliography

UCSF-Library1 Frequently updated comprehensive bibliography of publications and resources that utilize and analyze tobacco industry documents from 1994 to present. This section of the bibliography is specifically devoted to economics.


Tobacconomics The 2011 Tobacconomics report, produced by Action on Smoking and Health, reveals how the tobacco industry uses pseudo economic arguments to divert attention away from the health consequences of smoking to block new health regulations and ultimately protect its revenues.

A Modern Economic View of Tobacco Taxation

International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung DiseaseThis 2008 paper provides a counterargument for the traditional economic analysis of tobacco taxation and presents reasons that tobacco taxes should exceed the level of pure, interpersonal externalities.

US Aid Tobacco Policy

usaid This report outlines US Aid’s policy and position on current and future activities related to tobacco production, processing, marketing, and other related tobacco activities. It also describes anti-tobacco activities that the agency can undertake.

Tobacco Taxes by Country

Tobacco AtlasThis interactive map from the Tobacco Atlas allows you to view excise tax as a percentage of cigarette by country.

Costs to Society by Country

Tobacco Atlas 4 cover icon TA4This interactive map from The Tobacco Atlas allows you to view direct costs of smoking as a percentage of gross domestic product.

Economics of Tobacco Control Toolkit

The World Bank This peer-reviewed toolkit provided by The World Bank provides tools for analyzing the impact of tobacco on demand, taxes, employment, smuggling, and equity.

WHO Tobacco Country Profiles

WHO Report on the Global Tobacco EpidemicThese country profiles, generated from data collected for the 2013 WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, provide country specific information on prevalence, preventive measures, cessation, cigarette prices and cigarette tax rates.

State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) System

The STATE System, developed by the CDC Office of Smoking and Health, is an interactive application that houses and displays current and historical state-level data on tobacco. Trend data, interactive maps, and state comparisons are available for topics such as legislation for indoor smoke-free policies, vending machines, smoke-free school campuses, and advertising restrictions.