A current research study funded by IDRC-RITC in Canada and conducted by AUB-TCRG researchers focused on generating evidence to support policies for raising taxes on tobacco products in Lebanon.
Lebanon ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005. Law 174 was adopted in August 2011. This law bans smoking in closed public places, bans advertising and promotion, and stipulates larger text or pictorial warnings. To date there has been no studies in Lebanon that address the welfare and public finance of raising taxes on tobacco products. International evidence confirms that increasing taxation of tobacco products and in turn increasing price is one of the most effective tobacco control strategies. Producing local evidence that illustrates that raising taxes lowers consumption and increases government revenue is useful for stakeholders who want to consider and eventually proceed with such policy. Revenues from such policies can be subsequently earmarked towards national tobacco control prevention and cessation programs, so as to minimize the short term negative welfare effects on consumers.The specific objectives of this research were: (1) To estimate the elasticity of demand for tobacco products in order to simulate, for a variety of tax rates, the burden of the tax and the expected revenues from the tax. (2) To estimate for different demographic groups the effectiveness of taxation at limiting consumption, particularly among youth. (Read Policy Brief)