Finance sustainable development: the United Nations supports tobacco tax

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

During the Third International Conference on Financing for Development held in July 2015 in Addis Ababa, the United Nations recommended raising taxes on tobacco to finance the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

To improve public health benefits and increase productivity, the UN suggests that taxes on tobacco are an effective tool. It would reduce consumption and health-care costs. Today, smoking kills six million people every year. Moreover, the revenue from taxes could finance developement in many countries. 

Therefore, one of the target for SDG is strengthening the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Recently, the FCTC published a new report on "the economic and health benefits of tobacco taxation". It shows the impact of policies on tobacco in two countries: France and Philippines.

The Philippines is a great example: in 2013, the gouvernment raised tobacco excise duty by 340%. The tax brought in $1.6 billion in one year, which was used to fund a universal health insurance programme.  


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