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Submitted by Bill Savedoff on

Great post. Glad to see you pushing ahead on tobacco taxes.

I think one of the biggest advantages of plain packaging is that it confronts one of the most problematic aspects of the global tobacco market - it is an oligopoloy that generates huge profits with which the companies can sow misinformation and resist protective measures. If successful, plain packaging could increase competition and erode the rents that major multinationals get because of brand identification. The one problem is that competition can also reduce prices paid by consumers. So really we need the combination of plain-packaging to increase competition between suppliers while increasing tobacco taxes to raise the price faced by consumers.