Background

This study aimed to measure the efficiency and productivity of tobacco control policies across 16 selected Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries from 2008 to 2014.

Methods

Data envelopment analysis was used in this study. Taxation on tobacco products and pictorial warning labels were chosen as the inputs. Percentage of the population of daily smokers above 15 years old and the number of cigarettes used per smoker per day were output variables. Additionally, the Malmquist total factor productivity (TFP) was used to analyze the panel data and measure productivity change and technical efficiency changes over time.

Results

The highest technical efficiency score (1.05) was attributed to Norway, while the lowest (0.91) belonged to the UK. Technological change with a total mean of 1.06 implied that the technology and creativity have increased, while countries have been able to promote their creativity over the studied period. Norway with the TFP score of 1.15 was the most productive country, while the UK and Turkey with TFP scores of 0.95 and 0.98, respectively, were the least productive countries in terms of the implementation of the tobacco control policies.

Conclusions

Most OECD countries have productively implemented tax and pictorial warning policies to reduce tobacco use. To achieve the optimum outcome of the tobacco control policies and overcome the challenges of smoking use, countries need to tackle the difficult underlying factors, i.e. tobacco industry opposition and lobbyists, smuggling, and low socioeconomic status.

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