The research also found that in the eight countries included in the study, the costs that smoking entails for health systems and the economy, including direct costs of medical care for the diseases it causes, lost labor productivity and family care, it amounts to a regional total of 46,346 million dollars.
In the different countries studied, tax revenue from cigarette taxes barely covers between 5 and 30% of the total economic losses caused by smoking.
“In general, the price of cigarettes is low in Latin American countries and there is scope to increase tobacco taxes”, said the economist Alfredo Palacios, coordinator of Health Economics of the IECS.
Palacios, the lead author of the study, observed that, in fact, “the World Health Organization maintains that raising the price of tobacco products through taxes is the best measure to deter their use and reduce their harmful impacts on society.”
In this sense, the study projected that, in the eight countries analyzed, increasing the price of cigarettes by 50% through taxes would have a total economic benefit in 10 years of 61,870 million dollars and could prevent 278,721 deaths in the course of one of each.