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Comparison between Online and Offline Price of Tobacco Products Using Novel Datasets

Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, Univeristy of Nottingham/UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, Clinical Sciences Building, City Hospital, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2282;
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 14 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
PDF [757 KB, uploaded 19 October 2018]


Price of tobacco products has traditionally been relevant both for the industry, to respond to policy changes, and for governments, as an effective tobacco control measure. However, monitoring prices across a wide range of brands and brand variants requires access to expensive commercial sales databases. This study aims to investigate the comparability of average tobacco prices from two commercial sources and an in-house monitoring database which provides daily data in real time at minimal cost. We used descriptive and regression analysis to compare the monthly average numbers of brands, brand variants, products and prices of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco using commercial data from Nielsen Scantrack and Kantar Worldpanel, and an online price database (OPD) created in Nottingham, for the period from May 2013 to February 2017. There were marked differences in the number of products tracked in the three data sources. Nielsen was the most comprehensive and Kantar Worldpanel the least. Though average prices were very similar between the three datasets, Nottingham OPD prices were the highest and Kantar Worldpanel the lowest. However, regression analysis demonstrated that after adjustment for differences in product range, price differences between the datasets were very small. After allowing for differences in product range these data sources offer representative prices for application in price research. Online price tracking offers an inexpensive and near real-time alternative to the commercial datasets. View Full-Text
Keywords: cigarettes; prices; tobacco cigarettes; prices; tobacco

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Opazo Breton, M.; Britton, J.; Huang, Y.; Bogdanovica, I. Comparison between Online and Offline Price of Tobacco Products Using Novel Datasets. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2282.

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