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Measuring anomalies in cigarette sales by using official data from Spanish provinces: Are there only the anomalies detected by the Empty Pack Surveys (EPS) used by Transnational Tobacco Companies (TTCs)?

Pedro Cadahia, Antonio A. Golpe, Juan M. Mart\'in \'Alvarez and E. Asensio

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Abstract: There is literature that questions the veracity of the studies commissioned by the transnational tobacco companies (TTC) to measure the illicit tobacco trade. Furthermore, there are studies that indicate that the Empty Pack Surveys (EPS) ordered by the TTCs are oversized. The novelty of this study is that, in addition to detecting the anomalies analyzed in the EPSs, there are provinces in which cigarette sales are higher than reasonable values, something that the TTCs ignore. This study analyzed simultaneously, firstly, if the EPSs established in each of the 47 Spanish provinces were fulfilled. Second, anomalies observed in provinces where sales exceed expected values are measured. To achieve the objective of the paper, provincial data on cigarette sales, price and GDP per capita are used. These data are modeled with machine learning techniques widely used to detect anomalies in other areas. The results reveal that the provinces in which sales below reasonable values are observed (as detected by the EPSs) present a clear geographical pattern. Furthermore, the values provided by the EPSs in Spain, as indicated in the previous literature, are slightly oversized. Finally, there are regions bordering other countries or with a high tourist influence in which the observed sales are higher than the expected values.

Date: 2022-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-big and nep-ore
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Published in Cadahia, P., Golpe, A., Mart\'in-\'Alvarez, J. M., Asensio, E. (2021). Tobacco Induced Diseases, 19(December), 98

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