The effects of price and non-price policies on cigarette consumption in South Africa

Ernest Ngeh Tingum, Alfred Kechia Mukong , Noreen Dadirai Mdege

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Introduction - The health consequences of smoking are serious and have been frequently detailed. A reduction in tobacco-related mortality hinges upon the ability to reduce tobacco usage. There is overwhelming evidence that higher cigarette prices reduce the demand for cigarettes, but little is known about the combined effect of price and non-price policies. This paper seeks to extend the analysis of price elasticities by estimating the combined effect of changes in price and non-price legislations in South Africa.
Methods - Annual time-series data from 1961 to 2016 are used, with a policy index constructed to capture the instances of non-price tobacco legislation. We estimate the combined impact of changes in tobacco control policy on cigarette consumption using a vector error correction model (VECM) and a two-stage least squares (2SLS) model.
Results - The estimated long-run own-price elasticities lie between -0.55 and -0.72, while the income elasticities lie between 0.39 and 0.49. The coefficients of the changing tobacco control policies and the changing market structure show that they contribute to a modest reduction in cigarette consumption. The short-run deviations from the steady state are presented using the error correction term (ECT).
Conclusion - Cigarette demand is responsive to cigarette prices and non-pricing policies but failure to control for non-pricing policies overstates the price effect. This suggests that both cigarette prices and non-pricing legislation are effective in reducing cigarette consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62
JournalTobacco induced diseases
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020

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