Tuesday , February 7 2023

The tobacco industry is playing price games to make smoking even more difficult


It is believed that two out of three smokers want to kill their deadly habits, and for good reasons they are thought to be smoking prematurely. Over the world, over 6 million people die every year.

But quit ridiculously hard. Smoking tobacco is a thrilling habit that the UK Royal College of Medicine is like heroin and cocaine addiction.

But that does not mean we can not do anything. Evidence suggests that increasing tobacco taxes is the most effective means of reducing tobacco use. These taxes, which are recommended by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, increase the price of tobacco products in stores, reducing their availability – a situation that encourages smokers to quit and discourages others from starting.

Taxes are especially important because less-skilled smokers are less responsive to many other tobacco-related campaigns and rules designed to facilitate withdrawal. However, such smokers, including many young people, are most susceptible to price rises.

Unless dependency was enough, the additional challenge to eliminate habit is that tobacco companies simply do not want to give up smokers. They do not want to lose their customers and the huge profits they bring.

It is therefore not surprising that the tobacco industry has a well-documented history that threatens the rules that seek to control the use and sale of tobacco for public health. For example, major tobacco companies continued to spread cigarettes to children all over the world, despite the fact that they did not, and often in places where advertising is prohibited. In the United Kingdom, where tobacco advertising is prohibited, Philip Morris International has banned the use of the recently launched smoking cessation campaign, which in fact continues to promote tobacco products.

Pay a heavy price

Although many of these tactics are obvious, some of them are more difficult to detect. Our latest study reveals another – as the tobacco pricing tactic in the United Kingdom reduces the anticipated effects of tobacco tax increases on public health.

Tobacco companies offer many cheaper products to help people smoke (and encourage new consumers to start), while also offering a higher-priced branded kit to really make money for those who can not or do not want to quit smoking.

When tobacco taxes are increased, they are trying to reduce the impact of tax increases on smoking. They absorb tax increases, especially in cheaper brands, by delaying and astonishing tobacco price increases. In this way, price rises are gradually being applied to the brand portfolio to ensure that smokers never face sudden price cuts when the government increases taxes.

The additional tactic adopted by the industry is shrinking – reducing the number of cigarettes in the pack to cover up the rise in prices and preventing the cost of tobacco packaging going beyond certain psychological levels.

Reducing the number of cigarettes in packages from 20 to 19, 18 or even 17, while maintaining a stable price means that a higher price for cigarettes for most smokers is no longer obvious and the producer can make more profit.

The industry also used price tags to reduce the retailers' ability to increase the small mark up on tobacco products, as it is a way to keep tobacco cheaper. The sales volume of ten cigarette packets increased and very small packets (10 g or less) were imported. These small packages attract smokers with the highest price levels, as they pay less for a purchase.

Such tactics and small packages in the United Kingdom have recently been banned by the introduction of standardized packaging (where tobacco is sold in a standardized format with boxed packaging) but is still available elsewhere. The United Kingdom has also introduced a new minimum excise duty, which sets the average price
more than 10 pounds per 20 cigarettes package)
stopping the sale of very cheap main tobacco products.

After all, the tobacco industry will not be manipulating the price, if it would not be as effective as providing young people with smoking and preventing the withdrawal of existing smokers. So what else can we do?

Strengthen it out

Another restrictive solution to the use of pricing tactics would be a good solution. Businesses may have a limited number of brand and brand variants they sell to reduce the range of offered bids and how many times they can change prices to prevent their ability to achieve a steady price and directly endanger the benefits of tax increases for public health.

There is even the case where tobacco prices are directly regulated in the same way that prices for public utilities such as water and electricity are often determined by independent state agencies. Utility companies are important services, so the government wants to protect the company from the choice of business prices, but then tobacco is a highly dependent and deadly product, which is also subject to price.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg Philanthropies recently announced a $ 20 million investment to establish STOP (Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products), a global tobacco industry supervisor, to help discover more of this practice. The Batwick University Tobacco Control Study Group is one of three partners funded to lead this initiative.

The company can not afford the industry to operate under the radar when its product kills two of the three long-term users. This new partnership will serve as a watchdog to reveal their deadly tactics.

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