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Price elasticity of demand of non-cigarette tobacco products: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Mohammed Jawad1,
  2. John Tayu Lee1,2,3,
  3. Stanton Glantz4,
  4. Christopher Millett1
  1. 1 Public Health Policy Evaluation Unit, Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2 Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  3. 3 Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  4. 4 Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mohammed Jawad, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK; mohammed.jawad06{at}


Objective To systematically review the price elasticity of demand of non-cigarette tobacco products.

Data sources Medline, Embase, EconLit and the Web of Science without language or time restrictions.

Study selection Two reviewers screened title and abstracts, then full texts, independently and in duplicate. We based eligibility criteria on study design (interventional or observational), population (individuals or communities without geographic restrictions), intervention (price change) and outcome (change in demand).

Data extraction We abstracted data on study features, outcome measures, statistical approach, and single best own- and cross-price elasticity estimates with respect to cigarettes. We conducted a random effects meta-analysis for estimates of similar product, outcome and country income level. For other studies we reported median elasticities by product and country income level.

Data synthesis We analysed 36 studies from 15 countries yielding 125 elasticity estimates. A 10% price increase would reduce demand by: 8.3% for cigars (95% CI 2.9 to 13.8), 6.4% for roll your owns (95% CI 4.3 to 8.4), 5.7% for bidis (95% CI 4.3 to 7.1) and 2.1% for smokeless tobacco (95% CI −0.6 to 4.8). Median price elasticities for all ten products were also negative. Results from few studies that examined cross-price elasticity suggested a positive substitution effect between cigarette and non-cigarette tobacco products.

Conclusions There is sufficient evidence in support of the effectiveness of price increases to reduce consumption of non-cigarette tobacco products as it is for cigarettes. Positive substitutability between cigarette and non-cigarette tobacco products suggest that tax and price increases need to be simultaneous and comparable across all tobacco products.

  • economics
  • hand-rolled/ryo tobacco
  • non-cigarette tobacco products
  • price
  • taxation

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  • Contributors All authors: conceptualised the study and edited the first draft and approved the final draft. MJ and JTL: conducted search and abstracted data. MJ, JTL and SG: statistical analysis. MJ: wrote first draft.

  • Funding This review received no specific funding. CM is funded through an NIHR Research Professorship award. SG work was supported in part by National Institute of Drug Abuse grant R01 DA043950. The Public Health Policy Evaluation Unit at Imperial College London is supported by funding from the NIHR School of Public Health Research.

  • Disclaimer The funding agency played no role in the selection of the specific research question, conduct of the research or preparation of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All data used in this paper can be found in the Online Appendix.

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. In the Funding statement ’National Cancer Institute Grant CA-087472' has been corrected to ’National Institute of Drug Abuse grant R01 DA043950'.