Tobacco Taxes Disproportionately Harm Women in Uruguay

Editor’s Note: Cross-posted from the Study Forum.

From: Tobacco Control

Dardo Curti1, Ce Shang2, Frank J Chaloupka2,3,4, Geoffrey T Fong5,6

Findings An increase in taxes on manufactured legal and roll-your-own cigarettes increased the odds that smokers in cities near the borders and women switched down to illegal cigarettes. City geographical location, controls effectiveness and distribution networks may play a significant role in accessibility of illegal cigarettes. To improve the effectiveness of increased taxes and prices in reducing smoking, policy-makers may consider specific policies intended to reduce access to illegal cigarettes, such as ratification and effective implementation of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products of WHO.

The probability of choosing illegal cigarettes over legal cigarettes is greater for women and increases with age and with greater intensity of consumption, while decreasing with higher educational level and higher income.

Gender is also a factor, as the widespread use of RYO among men renders it a potential substitute for legal and illegal cigarettes for men. This also implies that illegal cigarettes may become a closer substitute for women as they do not generally use RYO, although illegal cigarettes are more expensive than RYO.

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