Economics of SLT Use

Very limited data exist on SLT prices, tax rates, and tax structures, which makes research into the impact of SLT use very difficult, if not impossible. Very little is known about the extent to which higher SLT taxes translate into higher SLT prices and how these prices affect the affordability of SLT products. Little is known about the comparability of tax levels between smoked and smokeless products.

Most of smokeless tobacco products sold worldwide are sold through “traditional” markets (cottage industry and custom-made).

The excise tax system that should be favored should most effectively raises the prices of SLT products and makes SLT products less affordable over time, thus discouraging SLT consumption. Use of a specific excise tax that is regularly adjusted for inflation, is the best practice, presently.

The effectiveness of tax collection systems and the impact of higher taxes on ST use will also depend on the standardization of SLT products, based on dosage and the weight of the dry tobacco leaf used in a product. Lack of standardization complicates not only tax collection but also scientific research, as it hinders the use of econometric methods.

Data on SLT prices, taxes, SLT tax revenue, and SLT trade (both licit and illicit) are needed. Attention should be dedicated to monitoring and regulating the SLT supply chain (manufacturing, trade, distribution) in order to develop an effective SLT tax regime.