During 2008-2018, the decrease in affordability of cigarettes was a crucial determinant in reducing consumption of cigarettes in the SEE region. However, affordability is still not considered when designing national tobacco taxation policies. For example, in the period of economic growth (2017–2018) affordability in most of the observed countries increased slightly. Therefore, policy makers should be aware of the risk that future increases in cigarette prices could lag behind real income growth, making tax policy less effective at reducing consumption.
Affordability of Cigarettes in Southestern European Countries (2021) - download here.
This research analyzes trends in cigarette affordability in ten selected SEE countries, including five Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) and five EU members (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia). Two measures of affordability were used: increase in overall level of prices relative to increase in real to-bacco prices (Tobacco Affordability In-dex, TAI) and percent-age share of GDP per capita required to purchase 100 packs of cigarettes (2,000 cigarette sticks) (Relative Income Price, RIP).
Decrease affordability to reduce consumption of cigarettes in Southeastern Europe (2021) Policy Brief - download here.