Price and consumption of tobacco in Spain over the period 1965–2000

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Changes in cigarette price have had an appreciable impact on smoking prevalence in several countries. We analysed the price elasticity of demand for cigarettes (effect of price of cigarettes on tobacco consumption) between 1965 and 2000 in Spain. For total consumption of cigarettes, a 1% increase in price is associated with a 0.19% decrease of consumption (price elasticity of −0.19; P<0.01). The real price of blond cigarettes was significantly and inversely associated with blond cigarette consumption: on average, smoking prevalence decreased 1.25% for a 1% increase in the real price of cigarettes (significant price elasticity of −1.25). For black cigarettes we found a lower but still high and significant elasticity of −0.61. There is an inverse relation between price and consumption of cigarettes in Spain, indicating that interventions at the economic level (such as real increases in prices) may have an important public health impact in tobacco control.

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