What is known about tobacco industry efforts to influence tobacco tax? A systematic review of empirical studies

K. E. Smith, E. Savell, A. B. Gilmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)
213 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective: To systematically review studies of tobacco industry efforts to influence tobacco tax policies.

Methods: Searches were conducted between 1 October 2009 and 31 March 2010 in 14 databases/websites, in relevant bibliographies and via experts. Studies were included if they focused on industry efforts to influence tobacco tax policies, drew on empirical evidence, were in English and concerned the period 1985–2010. In total, 36 studies met these criteria. Two reviewers undertook data extraction and critical appraisal. A random selection of 15 studies (42%) was subject to second review. Evidence was assessed thematically to identify distinct tobacco industry aims, arguments and tactics.

Results: A total of 34 studies examined industry efforts to influence tax levels. They suggest the tobacco industry works hard to prevent significant increases and particularly dislikes taxes ‘earmarked’ for tobacco control. Key arguments to counter increases are that tobacco taxes are socially regressive, unfair and lead to increased levels of illicit trade and negative economic impacts. For earmarked taxes, the industry also frequently tries to raise concerns about revenue allocation. Assessing industry arguments against established evidence demonstrates most are unsupported. Key industry tactics include: establishing ‘front groups’, securing credible allies, direct lobbying and publicity campaigns. Only seven studies examined efforts to influence tax structures. They suggest company preferences vary and tactics centre on direct lobbying.

Conclusions: The tobacco industry has historically tried to keep tobacco taxes low using consistent tactics and misleading arguments. Further research is required to explore efforts to influence tax structures, excise policies beyond the USA and recent policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1
Number of pages10
JournalTobacco Control
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Fingerprint

Tobacco Industry
Taxes
taxes
nicotine
Tobacco
industry
Industry
tactics
Lobbying
tax policy
evidence
Bibliography
publicity
economic impact
allies
bibliography
website
revenue
Economics
Databases

Cite this

What is known about tobacco industry efforts to influence tobacco tax? A systematic review of empirical studies. / Smith, K. E.; Savell, E.; Gilmore, A. B.

In: Tobacco Control, Vol. 22, No. 2, 03.2013, p. e1.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{928966bc2d91409aa91d8d68572fbc58,
title = "What is known about tobacco industry efforts to influence tobacco tax? A systematic review of empirical studies",
abstract = "Objective: To systematically review studies of tobacco industry efforts to influence tobacco tax policies.Methods: Searches were conducted between 1 October 2009 and 31 March 2010 in 14 databases/websites, in relevant bibliographies and via experts. Studies were included if they focused on industry efforts to influence tobacco tax policies, drew on empirical evidence, were in English and concerned the period 1985–2010. In total, 36 studies met these criteria. Two reviewers undertook data extraction and critical appraisal. A random selection of 15 studies (42{\%}) was subject to second review. Evidence was assessed thematically to identify distinct tobacco industry aims, arguments and tactics.Results: A total of 34 studies examined industry efforts to influence tax levels. They suggest the tobacco industry works hard to prevent significant increases and particularly dislikes taxes ‘earmarked’ for tobacco control. Key arguments to counter increases are that tobacco taxes are socially regressive, unfair and lead to increased levels of illicit trade and negative economic impacts. For earmarked taxes, the industry also frequently tries to raise concerns about revenue allocation. Assessing industry arguments against established evidence demonstrates most are unsupported. Key industry tactics include: establishing ‘front groups’, securing credible allies, direct lobbying and publicity campaigns. Only seven studies examined efforts to influence tax structures. They suggest company preferences vary and tactics centre on direct lobbying.Conclusions: The tobacco industry has historically tried to keep tobacco taxes low using consistent tactics and misleading arguments. Further research is required to explore efforts to influence tax structures, excise policies beyond the USA and recent policies.",
author = "Smith, {K. E.} and E. Savell and Gilmore, {A. B.}",
year = "2013",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050098",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "e1",
journal = "Tobacco Control",
issn = "1468-3318",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - What is known about tobacco industry efforts to influence tobacco tax? A systematic review of empirical studies

AU - Smith, K. E.

AU - Savell, E.

AU - Gilmore, A. B.

PY - 2013/3

Y1 - 2013/3

N2 - Objective: To systematically review studies of tobacco industry efforts to influence tobacco tax policies.Methods: Searches were conducted between 1 October 2009 and 31 March 2010 in 14 databases/websites, in relevant bibliographies and via experts. Studies were included if they focused on industry efforts to influence tobacco tax policies, drew on empirical evidence, were in English and concerned the period 1985–2010. In total, 36 studies met these criteria. Two reviewers undertook data extraction and critical appraisal. A random selection of 15 studies (42%) was subject to second review. Evidence was assessed thematically to identify distinct tobacco industry aims, arguments and tactics.Results: A total of 34 studies examined industry efforts to influence tax levels. They suggest the tobacco industry works hard to prevent significant increases and particularly dislikes taxes ‘earmarked’ for tobacco control. Key arguments to counter increases are that tobacco taxes are socially regressive, unfair and lead to increased levels of illicit trade and negative economic impacts. For earmarked taxes, the industry also frequently tries to raise concerns about revenue allocation. Assessing industry arguments against established evidence demonstrates most are unsupported. Key industry tactics include: establishing ‘front groups’, securing credible allies, direct lobbying and publicity campaigns. Only seven studies examined efforts to influence tax structures. They suggest company preferences vary and tactics centre on direct lobbying.Conclusions: The tobacco industry has historically tried to keep tobacco taxes low using consistent tactics and misleading arguments. Further research is required to explore efforts to influence tax structures, excise policies beyond the USA and recent policies.

AB - Objective: To systematically review studies of tobacco industry efforts to influence tobacco tax policies.Methods: Searches were conducted between 1 October 2009 and 31 March 2010 in 14 databases/websites, in relevant bibliographies and via experts. Studies were included if they focused on industry efforts to influence tobacco tax policies, drew on empirical evidence, were in English and concerned the period 1985–2010. In total, 36 studies met these criteria. Two reviewers undertook data extraction and critical appraisal. A random selection of 15 studies (42%) was subject to second review. Evidence was assessed thematically to identify distinct tobacco industry aims, arguments and tactics.Results: A total of 34 studies examined industry efforts to influence tax levels. They suggest the tobacco industry works hard to prevent significant increases and particularly dislikes taxes ‘earmarked’ for tobacco control. Key arguments to counter increases are that tobacco taxes are socially regressive, unfair and lead to increased levels of illicit trade and negative economic impacts. For earmarked taxes, the industry also frequently tries to raise concerns about revenue allocation. Assessing industry arguments against established evidence demonstrates most are unsupported. Key industry tactics include: establishing ‘front groups’, securing credible allies, direct lobbying and publicity campaigns. Only seven studies examined efforts to influence tax structures. They suggest company preferences vary and tactics centre on direct lobbying.Conclusions: The tobacco industry has historically tried to keep tobacco taxes low using consistent tactics and misleading arguments. Further research is required to explore efforts to influence tax structures, excise policies beyond the USA and recent policies.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84874205646&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050098

U2 - 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050098

DO - 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050098

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - e1

JO - Tobacco Control

JF - Tobacco Control

SN - 1468-3318

IS - 2

ER -