Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
MIERA-JUAREZ, Belén Sáenz de and IGLESIAS, Roberto. Taxation and tobacco control: the cases of Brazil and Mexico. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2010, vol.52, suppl.2, pp. S172-S185. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342010000800013.
This study analyzes the achievements, obstacles and challenges related to cigarette taxes in Brazil and Mexico. Both countries have increased cigarette taxes in recent years and have included a specific tax, which allows maximizing the impact of tax increases on prices. However, it seems they have not taken full advantage of these measures. Three recommendations follow from these experiences: 1) specific taxes must represent a significant percentage of final prices; 2) specific taxes must be regularly adjusted to keep pace with cumulative inflation; and 3) specific taxes must be adjusted to compensate increases in personal income. It is also important to consider that taxes on legal substitutes of cigarettes must be similar to cigarette taxes. As for illegal substitutes, the issue is to reduce the incentives for illicit trade and to make illegal transactions more difficult. Modifications to national legislations and international cooperation constitute key elements to achieve this.
Keywords : tobacco; taxes; elasticity; Brazil; Mexico.