Table 1

Evidence for effectiveness of tax and price policies in tobacco control

• The World Bank classification of countries by income include, according to the 2008 gross national income per capita, calculated using the World Bank Atlas methods. High income: US$11 906 or more; upper middle income: US$11 905–$3856; lower middle income: US$3855–$976; low income: US$975 or less (for the list of countries, see http://data.worldbank.org/about/country-classifications/country-and-lending-groups#Low_income).

• * Sufficient evidence: an association has been observed between the intervention under consideration and a given effect in studies in which chance, bias and confounding can be ruled out with reasonable confidence. The association is highly likely to be causal.

• Strong evidence: there is consistent evidence of an association, but evidence of causality is limited by the fact that chance, bias or confounding have not been ruled out with reasonable confidence. However, explanations other than causality are unlikely.

• Limited evidence: there is some evidence of association between the intervention under consideration and a given effect, but alternative explanations are possible.

• Other available criteria: ‘Evidence of No Effect’, methodologically sound studies consistently demonstrate the lack of an association between the intervention under consideration and a given effect; ‘Inadequate/No Evidence’, there are no available methodologically sound studies showing an association—the available studies are of insufficient quality, consistency or statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of a causal association between the intervention and a given effect. Alternatively, this category was used when no studies are available.

• § Price elasticity of demand, which is a number without units, indicates by what percentage the quantity demanded changes in response to a 1% change in the price.

• Tax avoidance includes legal activities and purchases in accordance with customs and tax regulations, most of which include the payment of some tobacco taxes, and are undertaken by individual tobacco users, including crossborder shopping, tourist shopping, duty free shopping, internet and other direct purchases, industry reformulation and/or repositioning.

• ** Tax evasion includes illegal methods of circumventing tobacco taxes, such as the purchase of smuggled and illicit manufactured tobacco products. Those activities include small and large quantities and often, but not always, involve efforts to avoid paying any taxes (ie, small scale smuggling, large scale smuggling, illicit manufacturing, counterfeiting). Many of these activities are undertaken by larger criminal networks or other large-scale operations.