Based at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Health Research and Policy, we conduct economic research to inform and shape fiscal policies for health. In the United States, we’ve seen the impact that smart policies can have on tobacco use. Smoking rates are dropping and indoor air has become much cleaner. Fewer young people are starting, more adult smokers are giving it up, and tobacco control policies are gaining ground. All of this is good for the health of Americans, and we see the promise of fewer deaths and less disease from tobacco use. While progress has certainly been made in reducing tobacco use, there is much work to be done. Tobacco companies have turned their attentions to new products. E-cigarettes and snus are growing in popularity, but remain largely unregulated by the FDA.
Simultaneously, these companies have begun to focus on low- and middle-income countries where the tobacco epidemic continues to grow. That's why we're working to support researchers in low- and middle-income countries to develop the local evidence base for effective tobacco tax policies that can strengthen government efforts to establish cost-effective and evidence-based tobacco tax systems while maximizing public health and revenue. Our team and network of partners in low- and middle-income countries include some of the brightest researchers on the economics of tobacco tax policy. They are asking tough questions about how taxes can be best used to decrease tobacco use, and their work is providing guidance for leaders and policy makers on future interventions. Tobacco taxes, when implemented successfully, can improve public health and promote sustainable economic development. Explore our research»
The single most consistently effective tobacco control tool is significantly increasing the excise tax on tobacco products.