The value of Health Economics perspectives to assess THR
Tobacco taxes generate a lot of resources for the state. From a fiscal perspective, more smokers mean higher tax revenue. However, from a health perspective more smokers also mean increased morbidity and mortality and thus reduced health. New products (e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products, snus ….) add a new perspective.
How Health Economics assess THR value? Economic theory suggests that harmful goods should be taxed according to their level of harm. The higher the harmfulness level, the higher the tax. Accordingly, can tax policy and increased prices push consumers towards the less harmful products? Tax harmonization in tobacco products is essential to both secure tax revenue but also cause reduced public health risk implying levying tax rates which are proportional to the level of harm.
The session will discuss how health economics can contribute to policies and whether government policies may use taxation or other financial tools to modify consumers behaviours and encourage the substitution of recognized highly harmful products. Should governments be more proactive in trying to seek a harm reduction policy? Is there a need for tax harmonization in tobacco products? Are traditional and innovative products economic substitutes for the tax officer? Could we use taxation to drive behavioural change? Can tax and pricing tools promote the transition from traditional cigarettes to THR products? How is the economical balance when people are directed to switching versus not quitting? Could switching to non-combustible tobacco products reduce the expenditures on health?
Moderator: Andrzej Fal
- Emanuele Bracco
- Yikai Wang
- Arkadi Sharkov