WHO Knowledge Hub on tobacco taxation and illicit trade launches e-library

Samantha Filby

The WHO FCTC Secretariat’s Knowledge Hub on Tobacco Taxation and Illicit Trade, hosted by the Research Unit on the Economics of Excisable Products (REEP) at the University of Cape Town, recently launched an e-library on tobacco taxation and illicit trade in tobacco products. It can be accessed at https://untobaccocontrol.org/taxation/e-library/

The purpose of the e-library is to consolidate and classify all available literature on tobacco taxation and the illicit trade in tobacco products. It is a searchable database, with links to more than 1,700 entries covering a variety of dissemination modes including journal articles, presentations, datasets and grey literature. Entries are indicated by whether they are available in the public domain/open access, or by subscription only.

The core of the e-library are the reference lists of the IARC Handbook 14 Effectiveness of Price and Tax Policies for Tobacco Control (2011) and Chapters 4, 5 and 14 of NCI Monograph No. 21 The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control (2017). It also includes more recent materials, published after these seminal reports. The Knowledge Hub plans to update the e-library on a monthly basis.

Publications in the e-library are classified according to a number of criteria, such as publication type (e.g. journal article, presentation, dataset), topic, region, and country income classification. Visitors can also use the search function to find literature published by a specific author, or information on a particular country.

This resource is intended for use by both researchers and policy makers. For researchers, the e-library can be used as a one-stop-shop for finding existing literature on a particular topic relating to tobacco tax and illicit trade. Policy makers can use the-library as a tool to find information on their country, or global evidence for best practice in tobacco taxation and combatting illicit trade. We believe that it will be a valuable contribution to research on tobacco taxation and illicit trade.

The e-library aims to complement the existing Tobacconomics research database, which holds 600 items, including policy briefs, research reports, toolkits, presentations, and webinars on the economics of tobacco more broadly. The main focus of the Tobacconomics database is on the design and implementation of taxes, the impact of taxes on demand for tobacco products, the impacts of tobacco control on lower-income households, government tax revenues, illicit trade, and other factors. It also includes studies on supply-side interventions, such as policies relating to farming and regulation for vendors, marketing bans and cessation programs, health consequences related to tobacco use, and fiscal health policies relating to sugary beverages, junk food, and alcohol.

The Knowledge Hub’s e-library is focused on studies on tobacco taxation and illicit tobacco. It  aims to be as comprehensive as possible on these topics. It is not intended to focus on other aspects of the economics of tobacco control (e.g. advertising bans), or non-economic aspects of tobacco control.

Please contact Samantha Filby samantha.filby@uct.ac.za to suggest resources that you believe should be included in the e-library and have not yet been added, .

Samantha Filby is a Research Officer at the Research Unit on the Economics of Excisable Products (REEP), based at the University of Cape Town, where she also serves as the Programme Manager for the WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub on Tobacco Taxation and Illicit Trade. Funding for the e-library was obtained from Cancer Research UK (CRUK), grant number C62640/A24723.

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