Tobacco consumption and policy in the United Kingdom
Publication Source

Applied Economics

Journal article
Economy status
High-income economies
Download Link
Paid subscription article

In recent years, several structural changes and sequences of shocks have occurred in the market for tobacco in the UK, including an explosive growth in smuggling. This study examines whether it is still possible to estimate a reliable, plausible tobacco demand equation from time series data for the UK whilst allowing for all of the various shocks and structural changes. A second objective of this study is to use the estimated demand function to evaluate tobacco policy in the UK, including the scope for using tax increases to achieve reduced consumption and increased revenues. It is found that smuggling has diminished the revenue yield of higher rates of duty, but total consumption of tobacco has been reduced. In addition to the introduction of further measures to control smuggling, policy may need to place more emphasis in the future on health campaigns and smoking restrictions.