Determinants of Tobacco Demand and Duration: Evidence from Senegal and Nigeria

Tobacco use has disastrous consequences on health, such as cancer and cardiovascular illnesses. Smoking causes 40% of deaths related to cancer and 9% of deaths related to other cardiovascular illnesses in ECOWAS region. According to the World Health Organisation, tobacco causes more than seven million deaths every year. The spending due to tobacco use represents 6% to 15% of health government spending in developed countries. For youth, its use is associated with a risk of other drug abuse. A general framework of tobacco control has been initiated by the WHO in order to combat the damages caused by tobacco use. In 2005, Senegal and Nigeria ratified that agreement. Different indicators have been introduced in order to monitor the progress made by each country. The acronym is MPOWER: Monitor, Protect, Offer, Warn, Enforce, Raise. The main points are the monitoring of tobacco use, the protection of individuals against second-hand smoke, to offer smokers the means to stop, the warning against the harmful effects of tobacco use, the enforcement of the ban on cigarettes advertising and the rise of the taxation of tobacco products. In spite of the evidence of an effect of price’s increase of tobacco products on the demand, there are few studies in Africa, particularly in West Africa. The lack of studies is more striking regarding the determinants of smoking duration. In the context of a rapidly growing population with 60% of youth, it is essential to have a better understanding of the factors that affect tobacco consumption. We aim to contribute to filling that gap. We study the determinants of the demand for tobacco and smoking duration in Senegal and Nigeria. We focus particularly on the effect of price on the demand for tobacco products. This policy brief reports on the key findings of this study.