Tobacco Tax Index 2017: Assessing implementation of WHO FCTC Article 6 in ASEAN Countries
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Tobacco Tax Program Manager, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)
FCTC Program Director, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Corresponding author
Sophapan Ratanachena   

Tobacco Tax Program Manager, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A199
Aim: This civil society survey aims to gauge the implementation of tobacco tax measures in 10 ASEAN countries in relation to the recommendations of the FCTC Article 6 Guidelines, which the FCTC Conference of Parties (COP) adopted by consensus “to assist Parties in meeting their objectives and obligations under Article 6 of the WHO FCTC,” drawing on the best available evidence, best practices, and experiences of Parties that have successfully implemented tax and price measures to reduce tobacco consumption.

The tobacco tax policy survey tool was developed based on the WHO FCTC Article 6 Guidelines to assess current tobacco tax measures and provide ASEAN governments with recommendations for strengthening their tobacco tax policies. The qualitative research method was applied while respondents were government officials and representatives from NGOs working on tobacco tax in 10 countries of Southeast Asia. An initial assessment was done in 2015 and repeated in 2017.

Compared with 2015, the ASEAN region, as a whole, has seen limited progress over the past two years. Most ASEAN countries still do not have long-term tobacco tax policies with consistent verifiable fiscal and public health targets. Key obstacles limiting effectiveness include tobacco tax structures, weak tax policy, as well as the tobacco industry’s interference in and obstruction of tax policy formulation and administration.

Tobacco Tax Index 2017 of SEATCA is the first civil society’s report to urge all ASEAN government to effectively implement the WHO FCTC Article 6. Nonetheless, the 10 target countries are lack of effective tobacco tax policy in terms of both tobacco tax rate increase and administration which is leading to the high tobacco consumption in this region. Therefore, the governments in 10 ASEAN countries need to urgently improve tobacco tax policy by applying the FCTC Article 6 Guidelines.

The tobacco tax program and the survey was supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

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