The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 19–39 | Cite as

The impact of tobacco prices on smoking onset in Vietnam: duration analyses of retrospective data

  • G. Emmanuel Guindon
Original Paper


The benefits of preventing smoking onset are well known, and even just delaying smoking onset conveys benefits. Tobacco control policies are of critical importance to low-income countries with high smoking rates such as Vietnam where smoking prevalence is greater than 55 % in young men between the ages of 25 and 45. Using a survey of teens and young adults, I conducted duration analyses to explore the impact of tobacco price on smoking onset. The results suggest that tobacco prices in Vietnam have a statistically significant and fairly substantial effect on the onset of smoking. Increases in average tobacco prices, measured by an index of tobacco prices and by the prices of two popular brands, are found to delay smoking onset. Of particular interest is the finding that Vietnamese youth are more sensitive to changes in prices of a popular international brand that has had favourable tax treatment since the late 1990s.


Vietnam Smoking initiation Smoking onset Tobacco prices Tobacco taxes Duration analysis 

JEL Classification

C41 H20 I18 



Financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the McMaster University Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis and the Bloomberg Philanthropies is acknowledged. I thank Jeremiah Hurley, Michael Boyle, Michel Grignon, Joy de Beyer, Jinhu Li, Noori Akhtar-Danesh, Myra Yazbeck and Willard Manning for helpful comments and/or discussions. I am indebted to Martin Forster and Andrew Jones for providing public access to their Stata codes.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculté de Médecine, Département d’administration de la santéUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Institut de recherche en santé publique de l’Université de Montréal (IRSPUM)Université de MontréalMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Propel Centre for Population Health ImpactUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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