Tobacco Free Initiative

Pacific tobacco taxation project

Tobacco use is a leading cause of death worldwide. One-third of the world's smokers reside in the Western Pacific Region, where it is estimated that two people die every minute from a tobacco-related disease. Tobacco use prevalence rates in Pacific island countries remain high and unchanged over several years compared with the rest of the Region because of cheap and easily accessible cigarettes.

Increasing the price of tobacco through higher tax is the single most cost-effective way to decrease consumption and encourage tobacco users to quit. A tax increase also directly benefits governments as increased revenues can be used for tobacco control and health promotion programmes.

The work of the World Health Organization in the Region is guided by WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which states, in Article 6, that price and tax measures are effective and important means of reducing tobacco consumption by various segments of the population, in particular young people.

Objectives

    • To review and evaluate the current tobacco tax systems in Fiji, Micronesia (Federated States of), Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga;
    • To design new tobacco tax systems, forecast government revenues under current and potential tobacco tax systems and discuss tobacco taxation as a way to promote public health via increased tax revenues; and
    • To build capacity for the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance to continue to work collaboratively on increasing efficiency and effectiveness of tobacco taxation systems in support of full implementation of the WHO FCTC.

Project material


Project-related activities

    • Workshop on tobacco taxation in the Pacific
      18 to 22 June 2012
      Auckland, New Zealand
    • Country taxation forecasting projects
      2 July to 31 August 2012
    • High-level advocacy meeting
      7 September 2012
      Manila, Philippines
    • Dissemination of good practices
      November 2012

Contact

Tobacco Free Initiative
The World Health Organization
Regional Office for the Western Pacific
P.O. Box 2932
1000 Manila
tfi@wpro.who.int

Health Topic