A review of the impacts of tobacco industry privatisation: Implications for policy


State-owned tobacco companies, which still account for 40% of global cigarette production, face continued pressure from, among others, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to be privatised. This review of available literature on tobacco industry privatisation suggests that any economic benefits of privatisation may be lower than supposed, because private owners avoid competitive tenders (thus underpaying for assets), negotiate lengthy tax holidays and are complicit in the smuggling of cigarettes to avoid import and excise duties. It outlines how privatisation leads to increased marketing, more effective distribution and lower prices, creating additional demand for cigarettes among new and existing smokers, leading to increased cigarette consumption, higher smoking prevalence and lower age of smoking initiation. Privatisation also weakens tobacco control because private owners, in their drive for profits, lobby aggressively against effective policies and ignore or overturn existing policies. This evidence suggests that further tobacco industry privatisation is likely to increase smoking and that instead of transferring assets from state to private ownership, alternative models of supply should be explored.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2011.595727
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Policy
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC)
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Global Public Health on 27 July 2011, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17441692.2011.595727
Publication ISSN: 1744-1706
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 09:17
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2019 12:24
Full Text Link: http://www.scop ... tnerID=MN8TOARS
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PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2011
Authors: Gilmore, A.B.
Fooks, G. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-0080-4802)
Mckee, M.



Version: Accepted Version

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