Call for abstracts – Raising the excise duties on tobacco and related products and limiting their illicit trade

The Federation of the Scientific Engineering Unions, the Union of Economists in Bulgaria and the Smoke Free Life Coalition are happy to invite research and analysis authors, representatives of national and international institutions and non-governmental organizations to participate in an international scientific-practical conference “Raising the excise duties on tobacco and related products and limiting their illicit trade as part of policies to improve public health in Bulgaria”. The conference will take place on December 4, Wednesday, from 10:00 to 16:00, in the FSEU building in Sofia. Experts involved in these areas are invited to send abstracts by November 20, 2019.

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is the first international treaty concluded under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO). All EU Member States are legally bound by the implementation of the Convention. Article 6 strongly requires countries to adopt tax and price policies to reduce the consumption of tobacco products, explicitly stating the use of price regulation mechanisms in order to raise them through the excise duty mechanism. The Convention recognizes the rise in the prices of tobacco products as the main and most effective method of reducing their demand and distribution.

The damage caused to Bulgaria by the illicit trade in tobacco products over the last 10 years is about one and a half billion BGN, according to UNWE data (2019, “Identification of the risk of smuggling and counterfeiting”, Prof. Dimitar Dimitrov). The problems arising from the illicit trade in tobacco are health, social and other crime”. “3.8% is the level of illicit trade in cigarettes for the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of 0.6% from the last quarter of 2018 and 2% compared to the same quarter of 2018. show the results from the survey of “The Initiative Against Illicit” on the trends and levels of illicit trade in cigarettes from the study on empty packaging.”

At the same time, the question remains why Bulgaria is not taking steps to ratify the Protocol on the Elimination of Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products to the WHO FCTC.

The conference includes the following thematic areas:

  • Increase of excise duty on tobacco products;
  • Limiting the illicit trade in tobacco.

Present a paper at the conference

Experts involved in these areas are invited to participate in the work of the conference, to present reports explaining the issues, applicable policies and necessary steps to achieve a lasting restriction on smoking in Bulgaria and the EU. The working languages of the conference are Bulgarian and English.

Requests for participation with abstracts should be send to: by November 20, 2019. Each application must contain a short presentation of the proposed scientific report, incl. methodology used, main sources and key results / recommendations of the report, up to 300 words.

The authors of the approved reports will receive confirmation by November 25, 2019. The reports are accepted in Bulgarian or English. The papers presented at the conference will be published in a separate edition in electronic and printed (subject to confirmation) format. The requirements for printing the reports will be applied at a later stage. For more information on the conditions, requirements, forms of participation and publication of reports, contact us at:

Attend the conference

The conference will be open to guests from academic, governmental, scientific and non-governmental organizations, as well as to the general public and the media, after a pre-filled Registration Form, by November 25, 2019.

Representatives of the tobacco industry, as well as financially or otherwise related to it participants, shall not be admitted in accordance with Art. 5.3 of the World Health Organization’s FCTC: “In developing and implementing their public health policies regarding tobacco control, Member States must take action to safeguard these policies from the commercial and other interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law.”

The conference is organised in partnership with the Bulgarian office of the World Health Organization and supported by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. There is no participation fee.