Assistant Professor of Global Health, Harvard University
Research Fellow, Center for Global Development
Tobacco taxes are widely regarded as one of the most effective policy tools available for limiting the accessibility and availability of tobacco. Raising tobacco taxes has also been deemed the single most cost-effective way to save lives in developing countries. For China, which is home to roughly one-third of the world’s 820 million male smokers, the need for such a mechanism is dire. But do the gains in health and revenues raised from tobacco taxes outweigh the costs to households, especially poor ones?
In this seminar, Stéphane Verguet will present his co-authored paper, “The Consequences of Tobacco Tax on Household Health and Finances in Rich and Poor Smokers in China: An Extended Cost-Effectiveness Analysis”. The paper uses an extended cost-effectiveness analysis to estimate the effects of a 50 percent increase in tobacco prices, via a one-time excise tax, on Chinese men across income groups. Based on this analysis, Verguet will discuss the impact of the tax on years of life gained, tax revenues raised, changes in expenditures on tobacco and on treatment of tobacco-related disease, and financial risk protection afforded to households through the avoidance of medical expenditures related to the treatment of tobacco-related diseases.