Angel López-Nicolás, Polytechnic University of Cartagena
The latest Eurobarometer survey shows that approximately 113 million individuals in the European Union (26.15% of the population aged 15 or more) considered themselves smokers in 2017. The vast majority of these smokers used manufactured and roll-your-own cigarettes.
While the use of combustible tobacco products amongst Europeans has decreased over the last decade, and tax harmonization policies across the EU have contributed to such decreases, there are two price-related factors preventing further reductions in prevalence. One is the lack of convergence of product prices across Member States, which in a free trade area such as the EU creates ample opportunity for tax avoidance via cross border shopping. The second is the pervasive price differential between manufactured and roll-your-own cigarettes, which leads to trading down to cheaper smoking rather than quitting amongst smokers and also encourages take up amongst price sensitive individuals at risk of starting to smoke.
This presentation will discuss policies to address these problems in the context of the opportunity window created by the process of revision of the European Union Tobacco Tax Directive.
Ángel López-Nicolás (B.Sc. M.A. PhD.) is currently a Professor of Economics at Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena. Within the interaction of public and health economics, his work focuses on the economics of smoking and of tobacco control. His research in this area ranges from the economic evaluation of prevention policies to the design of tobacco taxation and has been published in the main field journals (Tobacco Control, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, European Journal of Health Economics etc.). His engagement in tobacco control policy is currently centred on the provision of and access to cessation services through the health care system, the revision of the EU Directive on the Taxation of Tobacco Products and the alignment of domestic tobacco taxation with public health objectives within EU Member States.