Improving excise duty on nicotine-containing products

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many scholars and scientists have left the country. More than 30 Ukrainian researchers displaced by the war have temporarily joined the University of Luxembourg mainly as research fellows and in some cases under temporary contracts funded by the FNR. In this series of interviews, we briefly present the researchers and their work.

Nadiia Novytska is a PhD researcher at the Public Finance Research Department of the Research Institute of Financial Policy of the State Tax University. This university is located in Irpin, a Hero City of Bucha Region, close to Kyiv and was temporarily destroyed due to shelling by the Russian occupiers. She is a Visiting Researcher at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance at the University of Luxembourg.

What is your research field, and which specific topic are you working on?

My field of scientific interests concerns excise and environmental taxation, econometric modeling in the field of taxation. In Ukraine, I was engaged in applied scientific research for the State Tax Service and the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine. I was the head of the author’s team and carried out projects related to the improvement of the system of control over the production and turnover of excise goods and issues of Ukrainian of domestic tax legislation to the requirements of European Directives. I also worked as part of working groups on the implementation of the tobacco track and trace system at the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, made reports at the meetings of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy. Based on my knowledge, skills and experience for my research project at the University of Luxembourg, I decided to choose a topic related to improving the excise duty on cigarettes, nicotine-containing and equivalent products in Luxembourg.

What would you like to achieve in your research work here, in Luxembourg? Why does it make sense for you to collaborate specifically with the University of Luxembourg?

Cooperation with the University of Luxembourg above all gives me personally and my daughter the opportunity to be safe, away from constant rocket attacks and occupied territories. The university where I worked in Ukraine is now badly damaged, and my office was destroyed by rocket attacks. When I got into the scientific community of the University of Luxembourg, I felt a friendly attitude and care of my colleagues in matters of my integration. Therefore, cooperation with the University of Luxembourg gives me all the opportunities to implement my knowledge, skills and professional experience, to continue my scientific research related to excise taxation. I would like submit proposals for improving the excise taxation of cigarettes, nicotine-containing and similar products in Luxembourg.

Will your research have a potential impact on people’s everyday life and if so, what will it be exactly?

My research will contribute to highlighting the issue of the impact of the excise duty on cigarettes on the behavior of smokers, will allow to highlight the problem of shifting the demand of smokers from taxable products to those that are currently not subject to taxation, namely from traditional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes and nicotine-containing pouches, which leads to a reduction in the revenues of the Luxembourg budget. It will also allow us to answer questions about the effectiveness of excise taxation on cigarettes and the need to introduce a tax on liquids for electronic cigarettes and nicotine-containing pouches. This will reduce the availability of cigarettes and the novel nicotine-containing products, which will ultimately contribute to the improvement of health in Luxembourg.

What do you think is the biggest contribution your work can bring?

I have many years of experience in cooperation and the use of applied scientific research for the needs of state institutions of Ukraine, conducting expert research for business and public organizations. At the University of Luxembourg, I was able to use my knowledge and skills to implement the practice of preparing analytical studies for the Luxembourg public authorities and the European Commission by the University of Luxembourg.

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