Nicotine & Tobacco Research
We estimated the price and income elasticity of cigarette demand and the impact of cigarette taxes on cigarette demand and cigarette tax revenue in Malaysia. The data on cigarette consumption, cigarette prices, and public policies between 1990 and 2004 were subjected to a time-series regression analysis applying the error-correction model. The preferred cigarette demand model specification resulted in long-run and short-run price elasticities estimates of -0.57 and -0.08, respectively. Income was positively related to cigarette consumption: A 1% increase in real income increased cigarette consumption by 1.46%. The model predicted that an increase in cigarette excise tax from Malaysian ringgit (RM) 1.60 to RM2.00 per pack would reduce cigarette consumption in Malaysia by 3.37%, or by 806,468,873 cigarettes. This reduction would translate to almost 165 fewer tobacco-related lung cancer deaths per year and a 20.8% increase in the government excise tax revenue. We conclude that taxation is an effective method of reducing cigarette consumption and tobacco-related deaths while increasing revenue for the government of Malaysia.