Special focus 3: managing the politics of earmarked health taxes

Katherine Smith, Mark Hellowell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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The public health interest in health taxes has largely focused on their ability to raise the cost of manufacturing, distributing, selling and/or consuming such products, reducing their consumption. However, there is increasing interest in using such taxes to mobilise additional government revenues to fund investments and programmes that contribute to health systems goals. For example, a recent report by the World Bank found that the large financing gap for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in low- and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) (now exacerbated by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic), could be mitigated by tax increases on tobacco, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).1 The World Bank authors estimate that tax increases that raise the retail prices of these products by 50% could generate additional revenues of approximately $24.7 billion in 54 LMICs by 2030.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth Taxes
Subtitle of host publicationPolicy and Practice
EditorsJeremy A Lauer, Franco Sassi, Agnès Soucat, Angeli Vigo
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages13
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jan 2023


  • politics
  • health taxes
  • social policy
  • health policy
  • public health


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