Tax link questioned

| May 16, 2018

Claims by the tobacco industry of a positive association between price/tax changes in respect of tobacco products and the illegal trade in those products are unsubstantiated, according to an article by Guillermo Paraje, PhD for Nicotine and Tobacco Research, published by Oxford University Press.

An abstract of the piece, Illicit Cigarette Trade in Five South American Countries: A Gap Analysis for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru, concludes that using simple statistical methods, ‘it is possible to assess the trend in tobacco illicit trend over time to better inform policy-makers’. ‘Getting reliable and regular population consumption surveys can also help to track tobacco illicit trade,’ the conclusion states. ‘Claims by tobacco industry of a positive association between price/tax changes and illicit trade are unsubstantiated.’

Under the heading Implications, the abstract says, in part, that the evolution of ‘cigarette illicit trade in five Latin American countries show different trajectories, not in line with tobacco industry estimates, which highlight the importance of producing solid, independent estimates’.

‘There are inexpensive methodologies that can provide estimates of the evolution of the relative importance of illicit trade and can be used to inform policy-makers.’

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Category: Breaking News, Illicit trade, Tax

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