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December 1st, 2003:

Effectiveness of Health Warning Messages on Cigarette Packages in Informing Less-literate Smokers

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Cost-Benefit Analysis of Proposed New Health Warnings on Tobacco Products

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A Strategy For Controlling The Marketing Of Tobacco Products

A Strategy For Controlling The Marketing Of Tobacco Products: a regulated market model

Objective: To outline a novel strategy for controlling the tobacco market.

Arguments: More comprehensive controls over the tobacco market are essential and long overdue. Effective controls need to encourage the development of less harmful products; control commercial communication to ensure that potential harms are highlighted relative to any benefits; and provide mechanisms to move consumers away from tobacco use, or at least towards less harmful alternatives. Achieving this by regulating the existing industry is one strategy. This paper puts the case for an alternative: to have marketing controlled by an agency (called here the Tobacco Products Agency, or TPA) which tendered to manufacturers for product and which distributed to retailers in ways that reduce incentives to bend or break the law. The TPA would be backed by legislation that made tobacco a controlled substance with possession sale and use only allowed as permitted by the regulations, which in reality would be only as provided by the TPA.

Conclusions: The overall effect of such a model, which we call a ‘‘regulated market model’’, would be to eliminate most of the incentives and remaining opportunities for commercial promotion of tobacco and to create incentives to encourage the development of less harmful tobacco products. Such a model preserves the competition inherent in a free market, but directs it towards the challenge of reducing the harm from tobacco use.

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Impact of Tobacco Tax Reforms on Tobacco Prices

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Impact of tobacco tax reforms on tobacco prices and tobacco use in Australia

Objective: To document the impact of changes to tobacco taxes on the range and price of tobacco sold during the period when the National Tobacco Campaign (NTC) was run.

Data sources: Information about brand availability, pack size, and price was extracted from Australian Retail Tobacconist. A retail observational survey was undertaken to monitor actual retail prices. Data on cigarette prices, brands, packet configurations, and outlets from which they were purchased were obtained from the benchmark and three follow up population telephone surveys conducted to evaluate the NTC.

Method: Data from the three sources were compared to see the extent to which the impact of tax changes had been offset by greater retail discounting and a more concerted effort by consumers to purchase cheaper products.

Results: Smokers were unable to cushion themselves from the sharp price increases that occurred during the third phase of the NTC. Both average recommended retail prices of manufactured cigarettes and average actual cigarette prices paid by smokers increased by 25% in real prices.

Conclusion: The fall in smoking prevalence over the first two phases of the NTC was substantially greater than would be expected due to tax changes alone. The fall in smoking consumption over the first two phases was slightly less than would be expected and in the third considerably higher than would be expected.