Multi-country analysis of the economics of tobacco control
Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in the world, and it is projected to kill one billion people in the 21st century. To help combat this increasing global epidemic Michael R. Bloomberg launched a global initiative to reduce tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries in January 2007. As part of the initiative five partner organizations were selected to implement and coordinate activities towards achieving the initiative’s four main objectives:
· To refine and optimize tobacco control programs to help smokers stop using tobacco and to prevent children from starting.
· To support public sector efforts to pass and enforce key laws and implement effective policies, including taxing cigarettes, preventing smuggling, altering the image of tobacco and protecting workers from exposure to secondhand smoke.
· To support advocates’ efforts to educate communities about the harms of tobacco and to enhance tobacco control activities that work towards a tobacco-free world.
· To develop a rigorous system to monitor the status of global tobacco use
One element of this initiative is for Bloomberg partners to address tobacco economics at the country and global levels. Tobacco economics is an important aspect of tobacco control not only because of the economic burden the consequences of tobacco use place on society, but also because of the role tobacco plays in markets around the world as a commodity that is produced, distributed and consumed. The goals of the economics component are to:
· Provide valid, rigorous information for advocacy.
· Provide clarity on specific scientific points.
· To work to actively influence policies affecting the tobacco cultivation, the fabrication of cigarettes and other tobacco products, advertising of tobacco products, sales of tobacco products, and taxation.
· To collaborate actively with institutions and individuals – and create a network of individuals dedicated to research and advocacy for international tobacco control using economic tools and rationales.
· To support training in economic analysis for tobacco control advocates, members of the consortium, and staff of institutions in the priority countries targeted by the initiative.