December 4, 2018 – In the premises of the Belgrade Art Hotel, the Roundtable “Improvement of tobacco taxation in the Republic of Serbia” was held. The roundtable was organised with an aim to present results and policy recommendations from the research on the effects of tobacco taxation in the Republic of Serbia. Research was conducted by the Institute of Economic Sciences, coordinator of the regional network of research in Western Balkan Countries on tobacco taxation.
Jovan Zubović, director of the Institute of Economic Sciences, opened the round table and presented project objectives, stressing importance of the evidence-based approach in tobacco taxation policy in Serbia. Research results were presented by the IES researchers – Isidora Ljumović, Olivera Jovanović and Mihajlo Đukić. The research showed that the policy of dynamic increase of excises in the following period would lead to a simultaneous increase in budget revenues and reduction in consumption of tobacco products, generating additional benefits for the Serbian society. In order to achieve positive outcomes, it is necessary to adopt an adequate strategic framework for tobacco control and involve different stakeholders in the processes of adoption and implementation of appropriate policies.
Srmena Krstev, President of the Serbian National Committee on Tobacco Control, presented some of the systemic problems of tobacco control activities in Serbia over the last decade. Presentations have been followed by discussion involving policy makers in the field of tobacco control, state authorities, civil society and researchers. Roundtable conclusions indicate that there is room for significant systemic improvements in the area. In order to maximize benefits for the society, future policy improvements should be based on the evidence-based research.