Summary Brief 22

Smoking tobacco has been much less common traditionally in Africa than in Europe or North America. But this is changing. As Africa has become a growth market for the tobacco industry, adverse health effects are increasingly visible. While increasing tobacco taxation has been shown as the most effective policy tool in curbing tobacco consumption, many countries in Africa have maintained relatively low levels of tobacco taxation. One of the most common arguments against raising taxes on tobacco has been that this would increase smuggling. Drawing on recent studies from across Africa, this brief highlights the complex relationship between smuggling and taxation, and argues that smuggling should not deter African governments from increasing taxes on tobacco products.


Max Gallien

Max Gallien is a Research Fellow at the ICTD. His research specialises in the politics of informal and illegal economies, the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa and development politics. He completed his PhD at the London School of Economics. Max co-leads the informality and taxation programme with Vanessa, as well as the ICTD’s capacity building programme.
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