Tobacco Taxes and Tobacco Control Policies in Brazil, Mexico, and Uruguay

Tobacco use in many Latin American countries is high among boys, girls, men, and women. However, research has yet to explore differences in cigarette smoking rates between lower- and higher-income groups in middle-income countries such as Brazil, Mexico, and Uruguay. Meanwhile, existing studies on the impact of tobacco taxes are based on average price elasticity of demand, a measure that shows how overall demand for cigarettes shifts in response to a change in price but ignores the income distribution effects of raising taxes. This research will focus on Brazil, Mexico, and Uruguay as a multi-country case study for Latin America. These countries were selected because they have relatively advanced tobacco control policies and have available data - primarily the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). These countries also have tobacco control researchers with the capacity to work with this data. Using a common methodology, research teams in the three countries will evaluate -the evolution of smoking inequalities;-the broad impact of tax and other tobacco control policies on per capita consumption;-the different price elasticities according to economic and social groups, allowing for the discussion of the income distribution effect of taxes; and-how other tobacco control policies affect smoking behaviours of different groups of smokersResearchers will describe in detail smoking inequalities and tobacco control interventions of the past decade, especially fiscal policies. They will also use econometric demand models to determine scenarios of per adult consumption if no tobacco control measures had been employed. Research results will be used to support advocacy for tobacco tax policies. Findings will be sent to policymakers, stakeholders, and to members of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Working Group (to inform their work. For local governments and international health organizations, the research will provide valuable evidence about the impact of tobacco taxes on the most vulnerable groups in lower- and middle-income countries.
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