NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Arindam Nandi

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Working Papers

November 2011Socioeconomic Differences in the Impact of Smoking Tobacco and Alcohol Prices on Smoking in India
with G. Emmanuel Guindon, Frank J. Chaloupka, IV, Prabhat Jha: w17580
The threat posed by smoking to health in India is severe. Already 1 in 5 of all adult male deaths and 1 in 20 of all adult female deaths at ages 30-69 are due to smoking and India will soon have 1 million smoking deaths a year. Increasing tobacco prices has been found to be the single most effective method to reduce smoking. Yet, bidis, the most common form of smoked tobacco in India, are largely untaxed, while cigarettes are taxed at about 40% of retail price, well below the 65–80% rate noted by the World Bank in countries with effective tobacco control policies. Moreover, low and stagnant tax rates have occurred in a period in which all tobacco products have become more affordable with income growth. First, we use data from the most recent three consecutive quinquennial National Sample S...

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