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World Bank Speaks Strongly But Slow To Act On Issue Of Raising Tobacco Taxes To Improve Health

In this post in the Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy” blog, William Savedoff, a senior fellow at the center, writes that while the World Bank has “spoken strongly” on the issue of raising tobacco taxes in an effort to “generate revenue, cut health costs and save lives,” it “is moving forward cautiously if at all.” He writes, “As far as I know, there are a few dedicated bank staff working on the topic but few if any policy loans or investment loans that address this problem,” and he asserts that while “people working to improve health have their hands full with all the logistical, managerial, and policy issues involved in getting a complex sector to perform well at delivering services, … the people working to improve fiscal and tax policies don’t have the tobacco-related disease burden very high on their agenda” (10/17).