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Evan Blecher, PhD
Senior Economist

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Evan Blecher is an Economist and a Director in the International Tobacco Control Research Program. Evan is a native of Cape Town, South Africa and received his Bachelors degree in Economics and Business Strategy from the University of Cape Town, an MA in Economics with Distinction from the University of the West of England, Bristol and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cape Town. Evan has published in numerous peer reviewed journals including Tobacco Control, Addiction, the South African Journal of Economics, the South African Medical Journal, the Journal of Health Economics, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Trends in Organized Crime, and the Journal of Addiction Research and Therapy.

He was a member of the expert group for the recently published IARC Handbook on the Effectiveness of Tax and Price Policies for Tobacco Control and is a coauthor for the forthcoming NCI Monograph on the Economics of Tobacco Control. Evan’s research focuses on the economics of tobacco control, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, and covers issues including cigarette affordability, tax and price policy, illicit trade, smoke free areas and advertising bans. His research has been an influence on policy globally, providing expert input to parliamentary committees and international forums in several countries, particularly in Africa and Asia.

He is currently involved in negotiations for guidelines for Article 6 (Price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Prior to joining the American Cancer Society he held positions as a Lecturer in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town and as a Researcher in the Health Economics Unit, School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town. He has also been an Adjunct Lecturer at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of the West of England. He recently coauthored a textbook for undergraduate economics students in South Africa published by Oxford University Press.

Email:  evan.blecher@cancer.org


Selected Publications:

  1. Blecher E, Walbeek, C.  Tax, price and aggregate demand for tobacco products.  Lyon:  International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2011.
  2. Blecher E. A mountain or a molehill: is the illicit trade in cigarettes undermining tobacco control policy in South Africa? . Trends in Organized Crime. 2010;13(4):16.
  3. Blecher E. Targeting the affordability of cigarettes: a new benchmark for taxation policy in low-income and-middle-income countries. Tob Control. Aug 2010;19(4):325-330.
  4. Blecher E, van Walbeek CP. Cigarette affordability trends: an update and some methodological comments. Tob Control. Jun 2009;18(3):167-175.
  5. Blecher E. The impact of tobacco advertising bans on consumption in developing countries. J Health Econ. Jul 2008;27(4):930-94.