The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Tobacco tax reform surged ahead in South-East Asia in 2012

SITT report 300413 bReform of tobacco taxation made great leaps in various South-East Asian nations in 2012, according to the annual report of the South-East Initiative on Tobacco Tax (SITT).

Milestones included passing the Sin Tax Reform Law in the Philippines; influencing tobacco tax policy in Indonesia using research-based evidence, and passing and implementing the pictorial health warning regulation in Indonesia.

The report documents a number of lessons learned, including the importance of (from the Philippines):


  • Highlighting the impact of tobacco tax on public health so as to eradicate the notion that taxes only have fiscal objectives;
  • Bringing together allies from the government (i.e. Department of Health and the Department of Finance) to advocate for and defend measures;
  • Briefing legislators about the impact of tobacco taxation in saving the lives of smokers and those exposed to second- and third-hand smoke.

In Indonesia the project focused on reforming tobacco tax policy through research. Lessons learned there included:

  • Local evidence and researchers who understand the socio-political environment are needed for convincing policymakers;
  • Research institutions / university think-tanks are perceived as academics and offer credibility in presenting research evidence;
  • The media play an important role in building public awareness and framing public opinion on the benefits of tax reforms for health and social welfare.


Full SITT report

Read also:

Tobacco taxes funding health programmes in Latin America

COP5: tobacco control emerged as whole-of-government issue.

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