Tobacco taxation in Turkey: An overview of policy measures and results
Publication Source

World Bank Group

Economy status
Upper-middle-income economies

Turkey’s government increased tobacco tax revenue and lowered tobacco consumption by increasing tobacco tax rates significantly between 2003 and 2013. However, both per capita tobacco consumption and total cigarette sales in Turkey have begun to increase again in recent years. Although the recent rise in cigarette sales may be attributed to the influx of Syrian refugees into Turkey, the analysis reveals other factors. First, average cigarette price increased more slowly than inflation. Thus, cigarettes became relatively cheaper compared to other goods and services. Second, cigarette affordability has increased. Turkey’s economy has grown steadily, and the demand for cigarettes has risen as the population has become wealthier over time. Turkey’s experience in managing these challenges offers lessons for successful tobacco taxation. Turkey also provides a good example of the feasibility of increasing tobacco taxes, while combatting the illicit tobacco trade.