Year of Graduation
Price Effects on the Smoking Behaviour: the Case of Russian Anti-smoking Legislation
The new Russian anti-smoking legislation has been coming into force since 2013. Smoking in public places has been restricted to special smoking areas and any form of advertisement of consumer's tobacco products has been banned since. The preventive methods are usually connected with different non-monetary costs that potential consumers have to bear. We investigate the effects of the recent Russian anti-smoking legislation of 2013 through the changes in price responsiveness of consumer behaviour towards smoking of tobacco in terms of decision to participate in the hazardous conduct and consumption intensity. Using rounds 13 to 26 of the RLMS-HSE survey and focusing primarily on the working-age population we estimate price elasticities for each of the years in between using a series of two-part models. We find strong evidence that supports earlier findings that males' and females' behaviour towards smoking follows different profiles in Russia. Our estimates for price elasticities of consumption of common filtered tobacco cigarettes are significant and fall in the range between -0.6 to -0.29 for males from smaller cities with men residing in administrative centres showing 0 elasticity, and between -2.1 to -0.58 for females during the years preceding the legislation. The estimates we observe after the law started to come into force increase in their magnitude and vary between [-2.1, -0.98] among men; for women, the numbers fell in [-4.17, -2.4] showing a much stronger effect on the female part of the Russian population. In contrast, there is no evidence of heterogeneity in elasticities across people from different age- or income-subgroups as the interaction-terms of both equations tend to be jointly insignificant. As much of the total elasticity comes from the participation equation while the consumption one showing insignificant impact, we conclude that the policies related to the creation of non-monetary costs for smokers act as a temporary participation deterrent.