Price and Income Elasticities of Cigarette Smoking Demand in Bangladesh: Evidence from Urban Adolescents and Young Adults.

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Journal Article
Nicotine Tob Res, 2022, 24, (6), pp. 826-833
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INTRODUCTION: Understanding the elasticities of cigarette smoking demand among the youth could help improve the effectiveness of tobacco control interventions. The objective of this study is to measure the price and income elasticities of cigarette smoking demand among urban Bangladeshi male adolescents and young adults aged 10-24 years. METHOD: Using data from a cross-sectional survey conducted in seven urban districts of Bangladesh, we applied probit and ordinary least square (OLS) models to examine the effect of price and income on smoking participation (decision to smoke) and intensity (number of cigarettes smoked). RESULTS: Our results showed that price was not significantly associated with the decision to smoke, while income was a significant determinant of smoking participation. Both price and income determined the smoking intensity. The positive income elasticity (0.39) indicated that participants with greater access to money were more likely to participate in cigarette smoking and smoked more cigarettes. Negative price elasticity (-0.62) implied that increasing prices could lead to a reduction in smoking intensity among adolescents and young adults in urban Bangladesh. CONCLUSION: The inelastic price demand for cigarette smoking suggests that there is scope for increasing tax on cigarettes without compromising the tax revenue. IMPLICATIONS: This is the first study to investigate price and income elasticities among urban adolescents and young adults in Bangladesh. The study found no evidence that increasing the price of cigarettes discourages smoking participation but did show that increasing the price reduces the intensity of smoking among existing smokers. The results also suggest that economic measures such as taxation that increase the price of cigarettes could be a useful policy tool to limit smoking intensity without compromising government tax revenue.
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