The impacts of Ukraine’s hike in tobacco tax



Dr Laura Webber presents Global Health and Development Group lecture.

Dr Laura WebberIn the latest instalment of Imperial’s Global Health and Development lecture series, Dr Laura Webber (Director of Public Health Modelling at the UK Health Forum and Honorary Assistant Professor at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) presented evidence that predicted the avoidance of 127,000 new cases of smoking-related diseases by 2035 as a result of tobacco excise tax increases in Ukraine.

Dr Webber showcased her findings on a virtual population of Ukraine, based on known population statistics.

Initial smoking prevalence by age and sex was extracted from the 2015 Annual Household Survey conducted by the National Statistics Service of Ukraine and scenarios took account of price impacts on uptake of smoking and cessation.

Individuals within the model Dr Webber used have a specified smoking status; and a probability of contracting, dying from, or surviving a disease. Future prevalence of smoking is calculated based on the numbers of smokers and non-smokers who are still alive in a particular year.

Data for disease incidence and mortality was extracted from the Global Burden of Disease database and relative risks of contracting diseases in smokers compared to non-smokers were extracted from peer-reviewed literature.

A five-module microsimulation model was used to predict the future health and economic impacts of smoking prevalence by 2035, with the model quantifying the future impact on health and related costs of different levels of tax increase relative to a “no change” scenario.

Ukraine has had one of the fastest declines in smoking prevalence in the world (WHO, 2011), with multi-faceted tobacco control legislation from 2005 onwards including media campaigns, smoke-free places, textual tobacco warning labels, a ban on outdoor tobacco advertising and taxes. The introduction of tobacco control policies in Ukraine has resulted in a 20% reduction in the number of smokers over the past seven years.


Madeleine Stewart

Madeleine Stewart
School of Public Health

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