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Restraining the Golden Weed: Taxation and Regulation of Tobacco

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  • Stephen Smith

Abstract

This paper considers the key economic considerations in tobacco tax policy and its interaction with regulation. How far are high taxes on cigarettes justified by the external costs of smoking, and what other considerations should inform policy decisions about the appropriate level and structure of tobacco taxation? The paper discusses the definition and measurement of the external costs of smoking, and the implications of these costs for tobacco taxation and regulation. Wider issues in tobacco taxation are then considered, including revenue-raising efficiency, the tax base, distributional aspects, and the international dimension to tobacco tax policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Smith, 2008. "Restraining the Golden Weed: Taxation and Regulation of Tobacco," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(4), pages 476-507, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200812)64:4_476:rtgwta_2.0.tx_2-3 DOI: 10.1628/001522108X397697
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    2. Jerome Adda & Francesca Cornaglia, 2005. "The effects of taxes and bans on passive smoking," CeMMAP working papers CWP20/05, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-951, July.
    4. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    taxation; tobacco; regulation; externalities; social costs;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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