THE ISSAM FARES INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
IFI held a workshop on “Tobacco Economics” led by Dr. Ali Chalak, Associate Professor of Applied Economics at AUB and Dr. Ali Abboud, Assistant Professor in Economics and IFI University Fellow on October 6, 2023.
The workshop - gathering sector experts, and stakeholders from AUB, governmental entities and other experts in the field - was part of the process of validating the findings and recommendations of Chalak and Abboud’s research project titled “Analysis of Tobacco Supply and Demand in Light of the Financial Crisis.” The study followed a mixed-methods approach, aiming to map the tobacco value chain, analyze the current competitive structure of the tobacco industry, and pin down the regulatory framework in which it operates, not least its taxation, against a background of protracted economic crisis plagued by multiple currency rates. Furthermore, the study investigates current tobacco consumption among Lebanese households to understand the shift in consumers’ purchasing behaviors governing tobacco products in view of the pressing economic crisis, and to inform taxation and regulatory policies aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of tobacco use on public health while considering the economic challenges faced by Lebanese households.
Participants in the workshop provided insightful comments on the tobacco industry structure and suggested recommendations on industry reforms to meet national public health and finance goals. Current taxation policies and potential adjustments that can be made to meet these goals were also discussed.
For more background, you can read their research report published by the Institute in August 2023, titled “Landscape Report on Tobacco Consumption and Taxation in Lebanon“ written by Chalak, Abboud and rural development consultant Souad Abou Zaki here.