As part of the National Prevention Accord, several tobacco tax increases are planned in the Netherlands in 2020 and 2021. This provides a unique opportunity to examine their impact on smokers. Such data are currently not available for the Netherlands. Most research questions will be answered through data collection as part of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Project, which was established in 2002 by an international consortium of researchers. The ITC Project is the largest tobacco research program in the world, involving over 150 researchers, including many of the world’s leading researchers. Maastricht University joined the ITC Project in 2008.
You will use ITC data to monitor and examine trends in price related behaviours of smokers for the Netherlands. This will include longitudinal analyses to systematically relate price minimizing behaviours (such as switching to cheaper products) to the price increases. This will yield recommendations about how to limit or prevent price minimizing behaviours which may undermine the potential impact of tobacco taxation as a crucial tobacco control tool in the Netherlands.
Few analyses have yet been conducted in the Netherlands to examine differential effects of price increases on smokers. Two issues are particularly important. The first is to look at age differences, since both the Smoke Free Generation and the Prevention Accord are intended to prevent young people from smoking and tax increases are expected to have a larger effect on younger smokers. The second issue is how price affects those who have less money to spend, a socioeconomic group in which people start smoking earlier and smoke on average more cigarettes per day. Finally, a more practical question is how much price increase is required in the Dutch context to have an optimal effect. The latter question will be studied through a hypothetical cigarette purchase task (CPT).
You will have an appointment as PhD candidate at the Department of Health Promotion at Maastricht University. You will conduct your daily work at the Trimbos Institute in Utrecht, where you will have your office.
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