Tobacco taxes funding health programmes in Latin America

22 Apr 2013

In 2009, Panama (in law No. 69) doubled the tobacco tax rate, and set a minimum price of $1.50 per pack. Of the proceeds, 40 percent will be allocated to the National Cancer Institute, another 40 percent to the Ministry of Health for prevention and treatment of tobacco-related diseases, and the remainder is earmarked for the National Customs Authority (ANA), to tackle the trade in illicit tobacco.

In 2011, Ecuador adopted a specific tax on all brands of cigarettes, which is important as it discourages the tobacco industry from lowering the price of some brands when taxes increase the cost of other brands. Ecuador’s tobacco tax is adjusted every six months based on the CPI.

These three countries are leading Latin America’s drive to eliminate tobacco use.

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