Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Other interventions

There are, however, a few supply-side interventions that, in the presence of the main demand-side measures, appear to have little effect on tobacco consumption. Restricting imports of tobacco products is likely to conflict with some trade agreements (in particular with WTO agreements) and thus result in retaliatory measures from the exporting countries. Furthermore, the marginal price increase that would result from this measure could just as well be achieved by increasing taxes on tobacco products. That is, trade restrictions on tobacco products would, in most cases, have high economic costs as compared to the expected impact on tobacco consumption, whereas the same result could be obtained in a much more cost-effective way by implementing other measures.

Crop substitution is often proposed as a means to reduce the tobacco supply, but there is scarce evidence that it reduces consumption, since, as long as demand exists, financial incentives to grow tobacco will remain. While crop substitution is not an effective way to reduce consumption, it may nevertheless be a useful strategy as part of a broader diversification program to aid the poorest tobacco farmers in transitioning to other livelihoods.

Finally, although countries routinely prohibit the sale of tobacco products to minors, this measure is difficult to enforce and easy for many minors to circumvent. Still, banning the sale of tobacco to minors remains an important measure, as it may help protect one of the most vulnerable categories of potential smokers. Further, prohibiting minors from selling tobacco products goes hand in hand with this measure, as sales by minors directly increases the accessibility of tobacco products by minors.

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