242443 More Can Be Better: Pricing strategies to promote public health

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:30 AM

Leslie Zellers, JD , Technical Assistance Legal Center, Public Health Law and Policy, Oakland, CA
Ian McLaughlin, JD , Nplan, Public Health Law & Policy, Oakland, CA
Increasing the price of unhealthy or harmful consumer products is an important public health strategy to reduce consumption and use of those products through the concept of price elasticity. Certain pricing strategies can also raise funds that can be dedicated to mitigating the adverse effects of harmful products. Taxes have been a successful public health strategy to increase the price of tobacco products. However, the tobacco industry has engaged in a wide variety of retail price manipulation strategies designed to lower the price of tobacco products and blunt the effect of tax increases. This session will focus on legal strategies that have been used in an attempt to increase the price of tobacco, including tobacco taxes, fees and minimum price laws, and strategies to combat tobacco industry retail price manipulation tactics such as coupons, buy-downs, and master type agreements. This session will also explore how those policies can be used to increase the price of other unhealthy products, like sugar-sweetened beverages and junk food. Finally, this session will also briefly identify policy options to increase the affordability and availability of healthy foods and beverages.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Explain the use of pricing strategies to increase the price of tobacco and other unhealthy products, in order to reduce consumption and raise funds to be used for the common good Explain the concepts of price sensitivity and elasticity of demand in relation to consumption of tobacco and other unhealthy products Describe retail price manipulation tactics used by the tobacco and beverage industries to lower consumer prices Identify pricing strategies that can increase the affordability and availability of healthy food and beverage options

Keywords: Tobacco Taxation, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have directed the tobacco control work at PHLP for 14 years, including conducting research and providing technical assistance on strategies to counteract tobacco price discounting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.