Economic and environmental effects of reduction in smoking prevalence in Tanzania
Publication Source

Tobacco Control

Journal article
Economy status
Lower-middle-income economies
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In Tanzania, strong tobacco control measures that would lead to a reduction in prevalence (consumption) have so far not been implemented due to concern about possible economic effects on gross domestic product and employment. The aim of this study is to analyse the economic effects of reducing tobacco consumption in Tanzania.

The study uses computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling to arrive at the effects of decreasing tobacco prevalence. A full-fledged global CGE model was developed, including comprehensive details on tobacco and tobacco products/sectors using the Global Trade Analysis Program-Environment model and database.

The results indicate that a 30% reduction in prevalence could lead to employment losses of about 20.8% in tobacco and 7.8% in the tobacco products sector. However, when compensated by increases in other sectors the overall decline in employment is only 0.5%. The decline in the economy as a whole is negligible at −0.3%.

Initially, some assistance from the Tanzanian government may be needed for the displaced workers from the tobacco sector as a result of the decline in smoking prevalence. However, these results should be taken as a lower bound since the economic burden of diseases caused by tobacco may be far higher than the sectoral losses. The results do not include the health benefits of lower smoking prevalence. In addition, the revenues from higher taxes, as part of measures to decrease prevalence, would provide more fiscal space that can be used to finance assistance for displaced tobacco farmers and workers.