August 6, 2014 Print

Renowned economist Dr. Arthur Laffer recently released his Handbook of Tobacco Taxation – Theory and PracticePublished by The Laffer Center at the Pacific Research Institute, this 400-page handbook provides a comprehensive overview on all aspects of tobacco taxation. Laffer said, “One size does not fit all. Tobacco regulation and taxation are complex matters that require consideration of a number of political, economic, and demographic factors prior to deciding on tax structures and levels.” In general, governments levy excise taxes on tobacco to achieve fiscal and public health objectives. However, there’s a point at which tobacco taxes don't work to achieve these objectives. Laffer’s new book reviews and discusses the complexities of this issue. In the book he reviews the elasticity of tobacco demand and then discusses various fiscal revenue and public health goals in context of the Laffer Curve (fiscal) and the Bhagwati Theorems (public health). Other topics in the book include affordability, regressivity, illicit trade, and the excise tax structure. The handbook is published by The Laffer Center at the Pacific Research Institute.