CTCRECenter for Tobacco Control Research and Education (California)
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In terms of a price elasticity of demand, our estimates imply an elasticity of-0.065, which is one-fifth to one-tenth the size of the widely cited estimates offered by the CTCRE. Our substantially lower estimates of the responsiveness of cigarette consumption to changes in taxes (or prices) alter the basic cost and benefit calculation of cigarette taxes.
Last year, the CTCRE reported that BAT and Philip Morris are able to dictate the raw tobacco prices in Malawi by setting up pre-arranged contracts with middlemen to purchase the leaves for a set low price, regardless of supply and demand.
Worse yet--as the CTCRE has noted--this action involves government complicity.