A Study on the Economics of Tobacco in Nepal. HNP discussion paper: Economics of tobacco control paper no. 13
Publication Source

World Health Organization

Discussion paper
South-East Asia
Economy status
Low-income economies

This study is based both on secondary and primary data. The primary data were collected using a smoking behaviour 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.