Reducing the Burden of Disease Through Tobacco Taxes in Mongolia: A Health Impact Analysis Using a Dynamic Public Health Model

Ariuntuya Tuvdendorj*, Stefan R A Konings, Bolormaa Purevdorj, Erik Buskens, Talitha L Feenstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Smoking is the leading risk factor for many chronic diseases. The quantitative analysis of potential health gains from reduced smoking is important for establishing priorities in Mongolia's health policy. This study quantifies the effect of tobacco-tax increases on future smoking prevalence and the associated smoking-related burden of disease in Mongolia.

METHODS: The dynamic model for health impact assessment (DYNAMO-HIA) tool was used. The most recent data were used as input for evaluating tobacco-taxation scenarios. Demographic data were taken from the Mongolian Statistical Information Services. Smoking data came from a representative population-based STEPS survey, and smoking-related disease data were obtained from the health-information database of Mongolia's National Health Center. Simulation was used to evaluate various levels of one-time price increases on tobacco products (25% and 75%) in Mongolia. Conservative interpretation suggests that the population will eventually adjust to the higher tobacco price and return to baseline smoking behaviors.

RESULTS: Over a three-year period, smoking prevalence would be reduced by 1.2% points, corresponding to almost 40 thousand smokers at the population level for a price increase of 75%, compared to the baseline scenario. Projected health benefits of this scenario suggest that more than 137 thousand quality adjusted of life years would be gained by avoiding smoking-related diseases within a population of three million over a 30-year period.

DISCUSSION: Prevention through effective tobacco-control policy could yield considerable gains in population health in Mongolia. Compared to current policy, tax increases must be higher to have a significant effect on population health.

IMPLICATIONS: Tobacco taxation is an effective policy for reducing the harm of tobacco smoking, while benefiting population health in countries where the tobacco epidemic is still in an early stage. Smoking prevalence and smoking behaviors in these countries differ from those in Western countries. Reducing the uptake of smoking among young people could be a particularly worthwhile benefit of tobacco-tax increases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalNicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
Issue number2
Early online date8-Sept-2021
Publication statusPublished - 1-Feb-2022

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