Commenced in January 2007
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Impact of Tobacco Control Policy to Cancer Mortalities in South Africa

Authors: Cyprian M. Mostert

Abstract:

This paper investigates the effectiveness of tobacco control policy (TCP) in averting cancer mortalities in both educated and uneducated segments of the South African population. A two-stage least squares model (2SLS) was used covering the period 2009-2013. The results show that the TCP caused a 26 percent average decrease in cancer mortalities in both educated and uneducated segment of the population. However, limiting the sales of cheap and illegal tobacco cigarettes is necessary for advancing the effectiveness of TCP in averting cancer mortalities in the uneducated population — as the paper noted an insignificant decrease in cancer mortalities in 2012-2013 due to the presence of cheaper cigarettes. The paper also discovered evidence of persisting tobacco purchases of branded cigarettes in the educated population group which limited the effectiveness of TCP in 2009-2011. Hikes in real tobacco tax to a 0.8 USD price level in 2012 limited tobacco consumption in the educated group resulting in a 29 percent decrease in cancer mortalities. Other developing countries may learn from the South African case and strive to limit the sales of cheap illegal cigarettes while hiking real tobacco tax of branded cigarettes as a key strategy to improve cancer deaths across educated and uneducated population groups.

Keywords: Cancer, Health Policy, Health System, tobacco tax

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