Tobacco Induced Diseases Conference: October 2019, Tokyo

21 Oct 2019 - 12:45

REEP researcher Laura Rossouw attended and presented at the 15th International Society for the Prevention of Tobacco Induced Diseases Annual Conference, which took place from the 12th to the 15th of October in Tokyo, Japan. She presented on the CRUK-funded study involving various REEP members, which aimed to measure the impact of a change in tobacco taxation on illicit cigarette trade in selected low- and middle-income countries (Mongolia, the Gambia, Georgia and South Africa). 

The objective of the illicit trade study was to measure the impact of tobacco tax increases on the level of illicit trade by measuring the level of illicit trade before and after an increase in the excise tax. Different techniques of measuring the size of the illicit market were used, ranging from surveys of smokers and discarded pack collections to desk research (using so-called gap analysis). By estimating the size of the illicit market before and after the tax change, it allowed the researchers to estimate the impact of the tax change on the illicit market. In all four cases, there was not a substantial change in the size of the illicit market after the tax change.

In South Africa and Georgia, the policy had no impact on illicit trade. Mongolia observed a decline in their illicit trade during this period, from 15.4% (April 2017) to 6.3% (May/June 2018). In the Gambia, last minute changes to planned policy changes meant that we could only collect one wave of cross-sectional data. However, the data revealed that illicit trade is low at 0.9%-7.3%. We will also relate methodological lessons and recommendations from the studies, specifically recommendations for rapid response research by policymakers on this topic.

Initial results have been published, but more are forthcoming:

The International Society for the Prevention of Tobacco Induced Diseases Annual Conference encompasses all aspects of research related to the prevention and control of tobacco use at a global level. The conference encourages the submission of articles from all medical, biological and psychosocial disciplines, ranging from medical and dental clinicians, through health professionals to basic biomedical and clinical scientists.    

The 15th Annual TID Conference included a great variety of Scientific Symposia and Oral Presentation Sessions, an ongoing Poster Session, and two Hands-on Training Workshops.The conference venue was the National Cancer Research Center in Tsukiji, Tokyo.