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A Bite-Style Model to Evaluate Poland's Menthol Cigarette Ban

Posted: 27 Oct 2021

See all articles by Alex C. Liber

Alex C. Liber

Georgetown University - Cancer Prevention and Control Program

Michal J. Stoklosa

World Health Organization (WHO)

David Levy

Georgetown University - Georgetown University Medical Center

Luz María Sánchez-Romero

Georgetown University - Georgetown University Medical Center

Christopher J. Cadham

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Michael Pesko

Georgia State University - Department of Economics

More...

Abstract

Significance: In May 2020, the European Union Tobacco Products Directive mandated that EU member states, including Poland, ban the sale of menthol cigarettes. With menthol making up 28% of cigarette sales before the ban, Poland is the country with the largest menthol cigarette sales share in the world to ban their sale. We analyze how this ban changed the Polish tobacco market.Methods: We use monthly NielsenIQ data (May 2018—April 2021) on sales of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco by menthol and standard flavor in eight regions of Poland. We set up a bite-style regression model controlling for pre-ban menthol share, climate, border opening status, and Apple movement data to estimate the effect of the May 2020 menthol ban. We perform an event study to confirm whether the parallel trends assumption is met.Results: We find that menthol cigarette sales fell at least 97% after the menthol cigarette ban across Poland and standard cigarette sales replaced them. Regression modeling indicates that total cigarette sales fell, after the ban, an average of 2·2 sticks per capita per month, equal to a 2·9% decline, however, results were not significant (p=0·199). The bite component of our model reveals total cigarette sales did decline significantly in the regions with the highest pre-ban menthol sales shares. Roll-your-own tobacco sales increased by a statistically insignificant 0·03 stick-equivalents after the ban (p=0·798). Roll-your-own tobacco and cigarette prices also fell in the wake of the menthol ban.Conclusions: In Poland, the EU state with the largest pre-ban menthol share, we find mixed evidence that the ban is working as intended. Further research is needed to understand compensatory behaviors by smokers and tobacco companies in the face of such policies.

Funding: Norwegian Cancer Society in partnership with the Polish Ministry of Health

Declaration of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Keywords: tobacco control, European Union, menthol cigarettes, difference-in-differences model

Suggested Citation

Liber, Alex C. and Stoklosa, Michal J. and Levy, David and Sánchez-Romero, Luz María and Cadham, Christopher J. and Pesko, Michael, A Bite-Style Model to Evaluate Poland's Menthol Cigarette Ban. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3946277

Alex C. Liber (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Cancer Prevention and Control Program ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

Michal J. Stoklosa

World Health Organization (WHO) ( email )

20 Avenue Appia
Geneva 27, CH-1211
Switzerland

David Levy

Georgetown University - Georgetown University Medical Center

Luz María Sánchez-Romero

Georgetown University - Georgetown University Medical Center ( email )

4000 Reservoir Road, N.W., Suite 120
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Christopher J. Cadham

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Michael Pesko

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

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