Economics of tobacco control research initiative: Operating costs for capacity building

Fiscal policies (primarily taxation) for tobacco control have been widely recognized as the most effective measures to curb tobacco consumption and prevent tobacco-related diseases. They also have the effect of reducing household poverty and increasing national revenues. However, most low and middle-income countries (LMICs) have not effectively implemented such policies to date. Common barriers include competing health and development priorities and a lack of knowledge about country or region specific health and economic burdens related to tobacco, and the potential benefits of appropriate policies. Industry opposition and commonly-held (but misinformed) beliefs about the economic benefits of the tobacco industry also present barriers to tobacco control policy in many LMICs.

Through this initiative, Cancer Research UK and IDRC aim to address the development challenges posed by tobacco use in LMICs. The countries where research will be carried out will be determined through the competitive research call process. By supporting research on the economics of tobacco control in LMICs, this five-year initiative will allow the generation of the local evidence that is acutely needed to implement fiscal and policy solutions for effective tobacco control. Beyond the generation of evidence, this initiative will support collaborations between multiple institutions within countries or regions to enable research teams to actively engage in policy dialogue and policymaking processes. Local evidence will provide the context-specific information and tools needed to help countries leap forward with tobacco-control policy and contribute to SDG targets with respect to health and economic empowerment.

This project will cover the human resource cost of a full-time senior program officer to manage the project, and associated travel and office costs over the course of the five-year initiative. The staff under the initiative will be responsible for the delivery and monitoring of the research projects selected through the competitive call, as well as communications about the initiative, and reporting to the governance committee.

Project ID


Project status



60 months

IDRC Officer

Greg Hallen

Total funding

CA$ 269,845


The Economics of Tobacco Control Research Initiative