The World Bank
This study is based both on secondary and primary data. The primary data were collected using a smoking behavior survey and a purposive sample survey among tobacco-cultivating farmers. The overall smoking prevalence in Nepal for the population aged 15 or more is estimated at 37.4%, and is higher (47.4%) among males than among females (27.6%). Poor people are more likely to consume tobacco than their better-off counterparts, resulting in increased health hazards and the diversion of scarce income. The tobacco industry is a lucrative business for the private sector and government; the private sector makes large profits, and the tax revenue is substantial. Economic analysis estimated the price elasticity of demand for cigarettes and bidi at -0.882. It is found also that the poor and the young are the groups most sensitive to price changes. Therefore, considering health and economic benefits and poverty alleviation goals, a policy of real price increase through taxation of all types of tobacco product would be a desirable public policy for the government of Nepal to consider.