We examined the impact of tobacco prices or taxes on tobacco use in Latin America and Caribbean countries. We searched MEDLINE, EconLit, LILACS, unpublished literature, 6 specialty journals, and reviewed references.We calculated pooled price elasticities using random-effects models.
The 32 studiesweexamined foundthat cigarette priceshave a negative and statistically significant effect on cigarette consumption. A change in price is associatedwith a less than proportional change in the quantity of cigarettes demanded. In mostLatinAmericancountries, own-price elasticity for cigarettes is likely below-0.5 (pooled elasticities, shortrun:-0.31; 95% confidence interval =-0.39,-0.24; longrun:-0.43;95%CI=-0.51,-0.35).
Tax increases effectively reduce cigarette use. Lack of studies using household-or individual-level data limits research's policy relevance.