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A Bite-Style Model to Evaluate Poland's Menthol Cigarette Ban
Posted: 27 Oct 2021More...
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: Suggested Citation