World’s first tobacco tax index

05 Oct 2015

It was launched in regional workshop held in Yangon, Myanmar in September.

Main findings in the report include:

  • Cigarettes in ASEAN are generally affordable, even for the poor and the young;
  • Only Brunei and Singapore have uniform specific taxes, while the Philippines is expected to implement its policies by 2017;
  • Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore are the only ASEAN countries that tax all tobacco products (cigarettes and non-cigarette products) in a comparable manner;
  • Most ASEAN countries require fiscal markings, such as tax stamps, but no country uses them in a tracking and tracing system.

The report urges governments to:

  • Develop and implement long-term tobacco tax policies that include public health targets;
  • Raise taxes high enough on a regular basis to reduce affordability;
  • Apply a uniform specific tax system or a mixed system with a minimum specific tax floor;
  • License all manufacturers, importers/exporters, distributors, and retailers of tobacco products and manufacturing equipment;
  • Establish a tracking and tracing system, including fiscal markings with a unique identifier, to reduce the risk of smuggling and assist in investigations of illicit trade;
  • Prohibit tax-free or duty-free tobacco products.


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