Consumption of Tobacco Products and Illicit Market in Serbia

Venue: Online (Beograd)

Date: 10.12.2020

On Thursday, December 10, Institute of Economic Sciences organised a Panel discussion „Consumption of tobacco products and illicit market in Serbia“. It gathered around 40 participants, researchers, policymakers and media representatives in the field of health economics and tobacco control. The event aimed to present the results of the latest tobacco consumption survey (STC-SEE 2019). STC-SEE 2019 is research that covered socio-economic characteristics of tobacco consumption in Serbia as well as the size and sources of the illicit market and other relevant issues related to developing effective policies to reduce consumption of tobacco products.

Key speakers:

Dr Jovan Zubović, Institute of Economic Sciences

Dr Marijan Ivanuša, WHO

Dr Violeta Vulović, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA

Research about the socio-economic characteristics of tobacco consumption and illicit market conducted on the representative sample of 2,000 participants. Results were presented by the researchers of the Institute of Economic Sciences, Olivera Jovanovic and Mihajlo Djukic.

Research results show that:

  • Serbia has a very high smoking prevalence of around 37.9%
  • Smoking is considered socially acceptable. Smoking in at least one room is allowed in more than 80% of households in Serbia
  • Availability of illicit products represents limiting the effectiveness of tobacco control policies. Illicit cigarettes account for 2.4% of the overall market, whereas 90% of the total consumption of cut tobacco refers to illicit products
  • Legislative changes as proposed within draft Law on excises do not take into account the increase in household income and could result in greater affordability of tobacco products in the following period

In the panel session, discussion on the potential policy improvements in the field of tobacco control in Serbia was held. Representatives of the following institutions took participation:

  • Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of the Republic of Serbia
  • Tobacco Administration, Ministry of Youth and Sports
  • Institute of Public Health Milan Jovanović Batut
  • Republic Commission for Tobacco Control.

Main topics:

  • How to improve policies aimed at reducing the high prevalence of tobacco use?
  • What does the socio-economic profile of smokers in Serbia look like?
  • What are the size and characteristics of the illegal market of tobacco products, what are the fiscal effects of the state due to its existence and how to improve policies aiming to reduce illicit cut tobacco market?
  • What are the potential effects of proposed legal solutions regarding the changes in the excise duties on tobacco by 2025, and what are the areas for improvement?

Presentation of the event - download here

More details could be found at: