Healthy budgets and healthy people: Finance ministry views on the importance, strengths and limitations of tobacco tax revenue and its uses is a report written by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by the World Heart Federation (WHF), a global non-governmental umbrella organisation for scientific and medical groups, patient communities, and other societies interested in cardiovascular health. The content of this report is solely the responsibility of The Economist Intelligence Unit and the views expressed do not reflect those of the WHF.
This publication explores the beliefs and attitudes of senior finance ministry officials on every aspect of tobacco taxation, including its purpose, setting of appropriate rates, illicit trade, enforcement and implications for spending possibilities, including financing universal health coverage.
The research occurred in two phases. As background, The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted an extensive literature and data survey of tobacco taxation and related issues. It also looked at the possible links of such levies to spending, in particular on universal healthcare.
The second phase involved in-depth interviews with ten ministers, former ministers and senior officials at ten finance ministries spread across the world, as well as further in-depth desk research on matters arising from those discussions and the original literature survey.
Our thanks are due to the following interviewees for their time and insight (listed alphabetically):
- Santiago Afonso, chief of advisers to the minister, Ministry of the Treasury, Argentina
- Chris Axelson, chief director for economic tax analysis, National Treasury, South Africa
- Hon. Mauricio Cárdenas, former minister, Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Colombia
- Yuriy Dzhygyr, deputy minister, Ministry of Finance, Ukraine
- Terhi Järvikare, director-general of the tax department, Ministry of Finance, Finland
- Idrissa Kanu, director of revenue and tax policy, Ministry of Finance, Sierra Leone
- Ahmed Kouchouk, vice-minister of finance for fiscal policies and institutional reform, Ministry of Finance, Egypt
- Hon. Cesar Purisima, former secretary (minister), Department of Finance, Philippines
- Hon. Ryan Straughn, MP, minister, Ministry of Finance, Barbados
- Syed Shabbar Zaidi, chairman, Federal Board of Revenue, Pakistan
The report was written by Paul Kielstra and edited by Elizabeth Sukkar of The Economist Intelligence Unit. The literature review and data survey were performed by Amanda Stucke, Anelia Boshnakova, Darshni Nagaria and Alan Lovell from the EIU Healthcare team.