The Impact of Prices and Taxes on the Use of Tobacco Products in Latin America and the Caribbean
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We examined the impact of tobacco prices or taxes on tobacco use in Latin America and Caribbean countries. We searched MEDLINE, EconLit, LILACS, unpublished literature, 6 specialty journals, and reviewed references. We calculated pooled price elasticities using random-effects models. The 32 studies we examined found that cigarette prices have a negative and statistically significant effect on cigarette consumption. A change in price is associated with a less than proportional change in the quantity of cigarettes demanded. In most Latin American countries, own-price elasticity for cigarettes is likely below -0.5 (pooled elasticities, short-run: -0.31; 95% confidence interval=-0.39, -0.24; long-run: -0.43; 95% CI=-0.51, -0.35). Tax increases effectively reduce cigarette use. Lack of studies using household- or individual-level data limits research's policy relevance.
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