Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Tobacco control
Title Contrasting academic and tobacco industry estimates of illicit cigarette trade: evidence from Warsaw, Poland
Volume 2013
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michal_Stoklosa/publication/255954649_Contrasting_academic_and_​tobacco_industry_estimates_of_illicit_cigarette_trade_Evidence_from_Warsaw_Poland/links/556c5dcc08ae​ccd7773ae78f.pdf
Objective To compare two different methods for
estimating the size of the illicit cigarette market with
each other and to contrast the estimates obtained by
these two methods with the results of an industrycommissioned
Methods We used two observational methods:
collection of data from packs in smokers’ personal
possession, and collection of data from packs discarded
on streets. The data were obtained in Warsaw, Poland in
September 2011 and October 2011. We used tests of
independence to compare the results based on the two
methods, and to contrast those with the estimate from
the industry-commissioned discarded pack collection
conducted in September 2011.
Results We found that the proportions of cigarette
packs classified as not intended for the Polish market
estimated by our two methods were not statistically
different. These estimates were 14.6% (95% CI 10.8%
to 19.4%) using the survey data (N=400) and 15.6%
(95% CI 13.2% to 18.4%) using the discarded pack
data (N=754). The industry estimate (22.9%) was higher
by nearly a half compared with our estimates, and this
difference is statistically significant.
Conclusions Our findings are consistent with previous
evidence of the tobacco industry exaggerating the scope
of illicit trade and with the general pattern of the
industry manipulating evidence to mislead the debate on
tobacco control policy in many countries. Collaboration
between governments and the tobacco industry to
estimate tobacco tax avoidance and evasion is likely to
produce upward-biased estimates of illicit cigarette trade.
If governments are presented with industry estimates,
they should strictly require a disclosure of all
methodological details and data used in generating
these estimates, and should seek advice from
independent experts.

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