Health, taxes, and poverty in 500 million male smokers

The health, poverty, and financial consequences of a cigarette price increase among 500 million male smokers in 13 middle-income countries: compartmental model study

Higher cigarette prices would save millions of people from extreme poverty and poor health around the world, while also cutting costs for health systems across the globe, suggests a comprehensive study published today in the British Medical Journal.

The analysis, led by Dr. Prabhat Jha and Dr. Patricio Marquez, concludes that those with lower incomes would benefit the most from higher cigarette prices. Examining 500 million male smokers in 13 countries, they found a 50 percent price increase in cigarettes would result in 67 million men quitting smoking, most of whom have lower incomes.

The higher price would also lead to 15.5 million men avoiding catastrophic health spending in the seven countries studied without universal health coverage. This would result in 8.8 million men avoiding extreme poverty, half of whom are in the lower income group studied.


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