Tag: Tobacco


The Tobacco Epidemic – Bill Savedoff

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Tobacco related diseases cut short the lives of 100 million people last century, a number expected to surge to 1 billion this century, according to CGD senior fellow Bill Savedoff. Tobacco use has the makings of a staggering epidemic, one taking an increasing toll on low- and middle-income countries. Bill and I discuss the health costs imposed on those countries and tax policies for curbing tobacco usage. 

Death and Poverty Are Avoidable; Tobacco Taxes Shouldn't Be

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“Death and poverty are avoidable, but not tobacco taxes.” With this challenging statement, Prabhat Jha, Founding Director of the Centre for Global Health at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto laid out the most simple, cost-effective, and powerful intervention for charting a healthier future.

What’s New in Tobacco Control?

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Saturday was World No Tobacco Day which prompted me to ask: “What’s new?” After looking at the press releases, I decided that the most significant thing that happened last year was that another 30 million young people have started smoking around the world. Of these, 25 million are in low- and middle-income countries and about 12 million of them will die prematurely from disease linked to tobacco – 10% of them because of second-hand smoke. This epidemic is not caused by a virus or spread by mosquitoes. It is intentionally planned and profited from by large tobacco companies – for-profit multinationals as well as state-owned monopolies.

Dealing with Big Tobacco Bullies Part 2: The Trade and Investment Angle

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Colleagues Amanda Glassman and Bill Savedoff posted an excellent piece on the role of the World Bank, the US Agency for International Development, and other nontrade agencies in helping developing countries fend off the “Big Tobacco Bullies.” They argue that agencies like the World Bank could use their money, technical assistance, and policy dialogue to provide big visible support for developing countries to implement their anti-tobacco policies.

USTR: Export Good Tobacco Policies in the TPP

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It has been widely touted that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks will lead to “a high-quality, twenty-first century agreement” that will set standards for future trade agreements.  But one proposal coming out of the 19th round of last week’s TPP talks falls far short of “high-quality” or “twenty-first century”, and may well block the export of some of the United States most successful policies against one of the world’s most pressing public health issues: tobacco. 

Tobacco Taxes: A Win-Win for the Asia Pacific Region

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While smoking is on the decline in Europe, the US, and other parts of the developed world, low- and middle-income countries are facing opposite trends in consumption. Currently 80% of all deaths attributable to tobacco occur in low- and middle income countries. Asia in particular faces high prevalence rates of tobacco use—the Western Pacific region accounts for 48% of world cigarette consumption. Part of the significant consumption can be attributed to the increasing affordability of tobacco products. Between 2000 and 2010 the relative income price of cigarettes decreased by 34% in South-East Asia and 18% in the West Pacific. See the fourth edition of the World Tobacco Atlas (2012) for more information.


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