Tobacco Taxation Win-Win for Public Health and Domestic Resources Mobilization Conference
April 18-19, 2017Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C.

As we move into the third decade of the 21st Century, the achievement of smoke-free societies should be a critical marker of sustainable development. Raising tobacco taxes to make these deadly products unaffordable is the most cost-effective measure to reduce tobacco use or to prevent its initiation among youth. The benefits of higher tobacco taxes and prices are obvious, as there are good health outcomes both for individuals and entire communities that result from reduced consumption of tobacco products. This fiscal measure also helps expand a country’s tax base to mobilize additional domestic resources to fund vital health programs and other essential public services that benefit the entire population. Indeed, data from different countries indicate that the annual tax revenue from excise taxes on tobacco can be substantial.

VIDEO: Tobacco Taxation Win-Win for Public Health and Domestic Resources Mobilization Conference Highlights

Summary of Proceedings

Under the WBG’s Global Tobacco Control Program, a multisectoral initiative funded with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Bloomberg Philanthropies, work is under way in several countries across regions combining public health, macroeconomics, tax policy, and tax administration expertise, as well as know-how on reforming the customs systems, to assist in the design and implementation of tobacco tax policy and administration reforms.

At the 2017 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, the WBG, in collaboration with WHO organized a high-level event to bring country experience on the public health and fiscal impact of tobacco taxation to the center of the global development agenda.

Detailed Agenda [PDF]

APRIL 18: The Mayflower Hotel

7:00–8:00 AM: BREAKFAST & REGISTRATION Grand Ballroom

8:05–8:50 AM: OPENING PANEL: Why Tobacco Taxation Matters?: A Multisectoral Perspective from the World Bank Group


  • Tim Evans, Senior Director, WBG Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Global Practice
  • Deborah L. Wetzel, WBG Senior Director, Governance Global Practice
  • Sudarshan Gooptu, Global Lead, Fiscal Issues, Macro Economics and Financial Management Global Practice.

Moderator: William Savedoff, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Rapporteur: Shiyong Wang, Senior Health Specialist, WBG

9:00–10:30 AM: KEYNOTE PRESENTATION 1: Global Effects of Smoking, Quitting, and of Taxing Tobacco

  • Prabhat Jha, Endowed Professor in Global Health and Epidemiology, University of Toronto, Canada Research Chair at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Director of the Centre for Global Health Research, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada, and lead author of seminal 1999 WBG report “Curbing the Epidemic. Governments and the Economics of Tobacco Control.

Moderator: Feng Zhao, Human Development Program Leader, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, WBG

Rapporteur: Renzo Sotomayor, Health Specialist, WBG

10:30–11:00 AM: Coffee

11:00–12:30 AM: PLENARY PANEL 1: Tobacco Taxation, Tax System Reform, and Fiscal Consolidation: Recent Country Experiences


  • Armenia: Arman Poghosyan, Head, Taxation Department, State Revenue Committee, Ministry of Finance
  • Colombia: Luis Fernando Villota Quiñones, DeputyDirector, Territorial Institutional Strengthening, (Fortalecimiento Institucional Territorial) Fiscal Support Directorate, Ministry of Finance
  • Moldova: Veronia Vragaleva, Deputy Minister of Finance
  • Philippines: Jeremias Paul, Former Under Secretary of Finance of the Philippines and now Coordinator Tobacco Economics Team, WHO: The Philippines Sin Tax (tobacco and alcohol taxation) Reform
  • Ukraine: Oksana Syvak, Deputy Minister of Health, and 
  • Konstantin Krasovsky, Head, Tobacco Control Unit, Ministry of Health of Ukraine

Moderator: James Brumby, Director, Governance GP, WBG

Rapporteur: Roberto F. Iunes, Senior Health Economist, WBG

12:30–14:00 PM: Remarks by Keith E. Hansen, Vice President, Human Development, WBG

14:00–15:45 PM: PLENARY PANEL 2: Country Evidence: The Economic Cost of Smoking and the Benefits of Tobacco Taxes on Averting Health Harm


Moderator: Enis Baris, Program Manager, WBG HNP Global Practice

Rapporteur: Dorothee Chen, Health Specialist, WBG

15:50–17:15 PM: PLENARY PANEL 3: Are Tobacco Taxes Regressive?


Moderator: Paul Isenman, former Principal Economist and Country Director, WBG

Rapporteur: Francisco Meneses, Duke University

17:20–18:30 PM: PLENARY PANEL 4: Tobacco Tax Harmonization under Regional Economic and Political Pacts

Moderator: Estelle Dauchy, Associate Director, International Research, CTFK

Rapporteur: Darko Paranos, WBG

18:30–18:45 PM: VIDEOS

The Tax that Saves Lives: Philippines, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Tobacco Taxes in Ukraine: Multiple Gains for Society, LIFE-Regional Advocacy Center, Ukraine

Moderator: Lilia Olefir, Executive Director, LIFE, Regional Advocacy Center, Ukraine


Detailed Agenda [PDF]

APRIL 19: The Mayflower Hotel

8:00–9:00 AM: PLENARY PANEL 5: Tobacco Farming and Tobacco Affordability: What Do We Know?

Moderator: Mark Parascandola, Tobacco Control Research Branch, U.S. National Institute of Cancer Research

Rapporteur: Melissa Brown, Senior Agriculture Economist, WBG

9:00–10:00 AM: KEYNOTE PRESENTATION 2: Lessons from the United States Experience with Tobacco Taxes

  • Jason Furman, Former Chairman of the U. S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and now Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International

Lessons from Norway’s Experience with Tobacco Control Economics

  • Bjørn-Inge Larsen, Secretary General, Ministry of Health and Care Services, Norway
  • Commentator:  Bert Hofman, WBG Country Director for China, Mongolia, and Korea

Moderator: Alexander Kremer, Country Manager, WBG TBC

Rapporteur: Rosa Sandoval, Adviser, Tobacco Control, PAHO/WHO

10:00–10:10 AM: Coffee

10:10–11:00 AM: SPECIAL PRESENTATION 1: Tobacco Tax Policy Reform as part of Macro Fiscal Reforms supported under WBG Development Policy Operations (DPO): An Overview from Colombia’s experience

  • Presenter: Jasmin Chakeri, Program Leader for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions, Mexico and Colombia, WBG

Moderator: Patricio V Marquez, Lead Public Health Specialist, and Co-Coordinator WBG Global Tobacco Control Program, WBG

11:00–11:20 AM: SPECIAL PRESENTATION 2: Tobacco Taxation and Control in Sub-Sahara Africa: A Perspective from the African Union Commission (AUC)

  • Ambassador ChihomJianbori Quao, AUC Ambassador to the United States

11:20 AM–12:40 PM: PLENARY PANEL 6: Tobacco Taxation and Control: Lessons from Country Experiences

  • China | Transcript of short message | Video message (consecutive translation): Shi Jian, Director of Information, Institute of Taxation Research, State Taxation Administration.
  • India: Shri Devi Prasad Misra, Technical Officer, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance
  • Mexico: Jose Luis Pedraza Cervantes, Chief, Office of Excise Tax Studies, Federal Secretariat of Finance
  • South Africa: Mpho Vincent Legote, National Treasury
  • Tonga: Sione Vave Faleafa, Chief Economist, Ministry of Finance and National Planning
  • Turkey: Mustafa Utku Özmen, Senior Economist, Central Bank of Turkey
  • Vietnam: Doan Thi Thu Huyen, Deputy Director, Tobacco Control Fund Ministry of Finance

Moderator: Nigar Nargis, Director, Economic and Health Policy Research, American Cancer Society

Rapporteur: Patricia Sosa, Director, Latin America and the Caribbean Programs, CTFK

12:40–13:30 PM: KEYNOTE PRESENTATION 3: Tobacco Taxation and Financing for Development

  • Masood Ahmed, president of the Center for Global Development, and former IMF Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, World Bank Group Vice President, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, and Director General for Policy and International Development at the UK's Department for International Development (DFID).

Moderator: Paul Isenman, former Principal Economist and Country Director, WBG

Rapporteur: Omer Ramses Zang Sidjou, Economist, WBG

13:30–14:30 PM: PLENARY PANEL 7: How to Design and Enforce Tobacco Excises?

  • Patrick Petit and Janos Nagy, Principal Economists, Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Moderator: Blanca Moreno-Dodson, Lead Economist, Global Taxation Team, WBG

Rapporteur: Violeta Vulovic, WBG

14:30–15:45 PM: PLENARY PANEL 8: Tobacco Taxation and Illicit Trade: Are they Connected?

Commentator: Philiso Phodiso Valashia, Commissioner Customs and Excise, Botswana

Moderator: Matt Myers, President, Campaign Tobacco Free Kids, and former Legal Adviser to the U.S. State Attorneys Generals in negotiations that led to Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco industry in 1998.

Rapporteur: Magaly A. Clavijo, Trade Specialist, WBG

15:45–17:45 PM: PLENARY PANEL 9: Tobacco Taxation: Policy Options for Moving Agenda Forward: Country Perspectives

  • Bangladesh: Nojibur Rahman, Senior Secretary, Internal Revenue Division (IRD), and National Board of Revenue (NBR)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Snjezana Brckalo, Senior Associate, Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA).
  • Indonesia: Suahasil Nazara, Director General, Ministry of Finance
  • Gabon: Joel Oguima, Director General, Ministry of Economy
  • Lesotho: Motena Tsolo, Chief Executive – Department of Macroeconomic Policy and Management, Ministry of Finance
  • Myanmar: Khin Yamon Aung, Director, Internal Revenue Department, Ministry of Planning and Finance
  • Nigeria: Toluwalola Kasali, Special Adviser to the Hon. Minister of Finance, Federal Ministry of Finance
  • Pakistan: Sajjad Haider Khan, Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue, Pakistan
  • Philippines: Lilibeth David, Undersecretary of Health, Department of Health
  • Senegal: Mor Sall, Technical Adviser to the Minister, Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Planning
  • Vietnam: Hung Quoc Nguyen, Deputy Director General, Department of Tax Policy, Ministry of Finance

Moderator: Patricio V. Marquez, Lead Public Health Specialist, and Co-Coordinator WBG Global Tobacco Control Program, WBG

Rapporteur: Vandana Shah, Director, South Asia Programs, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

17:45-18:30 PM: PLENARY PANEL 10: Some Perspectives for the Future

Moderator: Sheila Dutta, Senior Health Specialist, WBG

Rapporteur: Claudia Macias, Senior Operations Officer, WBG

18:30-18:40 PM: CLOSING SESSION: The Way Forward and WBG Commitment:

  • Tim Evans, Senior Director, HNP GP, WBG 

Moderator: Patricio V Marquez, Lead Public Health Specialist, and Co-Coordinator WBG Global Tobacco Control Program and Blanca Moreno-Dodson, Lead Economist and Co-Coordinator WBG Global Tobacco Control Program WBG