E-Library launched
The e-library consolidates and classifies all available literature on tobacco taxation and the illicit trade in tobacco products. It is a searchable database, with links to more than 1,700 entries.
Survey 3: Cigarette brands during the lockdown
Back To Normal? Smoking and Quitting Behaviour in South Africa After the Tobacco Sales Ban: Results From A Third Survey
Smoking & Quitting Behaviour in Lockdown SA
Results from a second survey - REEP Report just published.
Lighting Up The Illicit Market:
"Smoker’s Responses To The Cigarette Sales Ban In South Africa" - REEP Report just published.
REEP research
Members of REEP, and associated graduate students, have performed a variety of research on issues related to tobacco taxation, illicit trade in cigarettes, smoking initiation, and health outcomes.
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Welcome to the Research Unit on the Economics of Excisable Products (REEP)

Since July 2019, REEP has been an accredited research unit within UCT’s School of Economics, under the directorship of Corné van Walbeek. As the name indicates, the unit focuses its research on economic aspects related to a variety of excisable products, specifically tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages. While we are not a lobby group, our focus is on public health. Our motto is Supporting public health through rigorous and objective research”. We never have, and never will, accept money from the tobacco, alcohol, or soft drink industries.

Our focus to date has primarily been on tobacco. The Economics of Tobacco Control Programme (ETCP) is likely to remain the dominant focus in years to come. The ETCP aims to expand current research efforts in the economics of tobacco control, and to enhance the knowledge of economic and tax issues among tobacco control advocates and policymakers, to strengthen support for tobacco tax and price increases in low- and middle-income countries. Closely associated with the ETCP is the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Knowledge Hub on Tobacco Taxation and Illicit Trade. Whereas the ETCP has a strong academic focus, the primary focus of the Knowledge Hub is on dissemination and policy support. The two units have a strong symbiotic relationship. The ETCP creates the necessary credibility, while the Knowledge Hub makes the work relevant for policy implementation.

Whereas tobacco use is a truly global problem, alcohol misuse is more localised. South Africa has a very substantial problem with alcohol misuse. Members of the REEP team have done some research on alcohol in the past, but much more work is required. Currently research in alcohol is not well funded - and most of the work that has been done in REEP, has been done on an ad hoc basis. We hope to increase this in future.

In April 2018, South Africa introduced an excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. This tax is in line with the growing international trend to tax unhealthy foods to slow down the obesity epidemic. Obesity is likely to become an increasingly important issue for the public health community in decades to come, and REEP wants to support the debate by creating policy-relevant research in this area. To date we have been involved in a small number of research papers in this area, and have supported the government in implementing this tax, based on our experience in tobacco control.

The ETCP is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) through the African Capacity Building Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the International Development Research Centre, the World Health Organization and the South African Medical Research Council.