The real size of the illicit tobacco market: complexities and best and worst practices in measuring illicit tobacco
by Hana Ross, PhD
Estimating of the size of the illicit cigarette market is complicated due the complex nature of the tobacco market and the lack of reliable data on legal sales particularly in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). Therefore, it is essential to critically evaluate any evidence, particularly if coming from the tobacco industry that is using it to achieve its strategic goals. This presentation will present evidence on the accuracy of tobacco industry data on illicit, explain why and how industry data on the illicit trade are designed to mislead and provide results from an experimental study design to evaluate the impact of a tax increase on the size of illicit cigarette market in few LMICs. The presentation will also touch upon measures to control the illicit cigarette market.
Hana Ross is Principal Research Officer, Professor Level, at the Economics of Tobacco Control Project at the University of Cape Town. She has 20 years of experience in conducting research on the economics of tobacco control, and in management of research projects in low- and middle-income countries. Dr. Ross has published more than 100 articles and independent reports on issues related to tobacco taxation, cigarette prices, illicit cigarette trade, costs of smoking, youth access to tobacco products, and other economic aspects of tobacco control. Her work has been funded by numerous institutions including the World Bank, WHO, Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, CRUK and the EU Commission, among others.
Maria-Eugenia Giraudo & Nicole Beardsworth