publications > Lifestyle Economics

Minimising taxes on low risk tobacco products will improve public health

Summary: The branch of economics that studies preferences and choices as they relate to costs and benefits is the natural starting point – indeed the only apparent candidate for a rational starting point – for understanding these phenomena as they relate to tobacco/nicotine use. Many implications of substituting low-risk alternatives (e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco) for smoking, … Continue reading “Understanding the basic economics of tobacco harm reduction”
publications > Lifestyle Economics

Controls have proved damaging and counterproductive

Despite UK display ban advocates’ repeated assertions, the empirical evidence does not demonstrate that tobacco display bans have reduced smoking prevalence or consumption in the four countries where they have been instituted: Canada, Iceland, Ireland, and Thailand. In this sense, display bans appear to be – like so many other tobacco control policies – highly … Continue reading “Canada’s ruinous tobacco display ban: economic and public health lessons”
blog > Lifestyle Economics
You would hope that politicians – current or prospective – would rank improving the lives of their fellow citizens as one of their top priorities. Their approaches and methods would probably be different, with some viewing individual liberty as paramount and others willing to sacrifice certain freedoms for better health outcomes. Both of these groups … Continue reading “Politicians wouldn’t ban motorcycle helmets, so why do they ban safer tobacco products?”
blog > Lifestyle Economics
In December 2012, the introduction of plain packaging gave the Australian government full control over the design and appearance of cigarette packs. Tobacco branding was abolished and tobacco companies were effectively prohibited from using their intellectual property. A few days before the policy went into full effect, activist-researchers announced that plain packaging had the effect … Continue reading “Plain packaging – what happened next?”
blog > Lifestyle Economics
Last night we learned that the government plans to change the law to ensure that cigarettes are sold in plain packages. The ostensible goal of reducing the number of smokers may be well-intentioned, but in practice this will be a policy with a negligible health impact and extremely worrying repercussions for black market activity. International … Continue reading “Plain packaging of tobacco will simply boost the black market”
media > Lifestyle Economics

Mark Littlewood responds to calls for legislation on cigarette packaging

Responding to calls for the introduction of legislation mandating plain packaging for cigarettes, IEA Director General Mark Littlewood said: “There is no evidence to suggest that plain packaging would reduce smoking rates amongst young people – the assertion seems to be based on a hunch or prejudice of the vociferous anti-tobacco lobby. In any event, … Continue reading “Plain packaging for tobacco would cause harm not good”
media > Lifestyle Economics

The IEA respond to the government's statement on standardised packaging

Commenting on the government’s statement on standardised packaging of tobacco products, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “The government should resist the urge to rush to regulate. The early evidence from Australia, where plain packs have been introduced, suggests this policy has not had any impact on youth smoking rates … Continue reading “Evidence not on the side of regulating tobacco packaging”
media > Lifestyle Economics

IEA responds to government decision to legislate for plain packaging of tobacco

Commenting on reports that the government has decided to legislate for the plain packaging of tobacco products, Christopher Snowdon, from the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “It’s hard to believe that the government would ignore the responses to the public consultation which were two to one against plain packaging. Around 500,000 members of the public, … Continue reading “Legislating on plain packaging of tobacco is a slippery slope”
media > Press Release

Mark Littlewood comments on Australia's recent tobacco advertising legislation

Commenting on the Australian Parliament effectively passing a bill for plain packaging of tobacco products, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “The Australians have decided to act as global guinea pigs for plain packaging. The British government should certainly not follow them in pursuing this expensive public health policy given the … Continue reading “Australians become global guinea pigs for plain packaging for tobacco”