PhD student School CAPHRI/Department of Health Promotion: Impact of tobacco taxation on smoking in the Dutch context

Updated: 6 months ago
Deadline: 19 Aug 2019

PhD student School CAPHRI/Department of Health Promotion: Impact of tobacco taxation on smoking in the Dutch context
PhD student School CAPHRI/Department of Health Promotion: Impact of tobacco taxation on smoking in the Dutch context
Published Deadline Location
6 Aug 19 Aug Utrecht

How will smokers respond when the price of their cigarettes goes up?
With this research project we examine the effectiveness of tobacco taxation as a tobacco control policy instrument: through which mechanisms will behavioural effects be generated (and unwanted effects prevented)? The project is important in the context of the Dutch government’s tobacco control ambitions (5% smokers in 2040).

Job description

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.

  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • Utrecht View on Google Maps

Maastricht University (UM)

  • Graduated in health economy, economic psychology, economics or health sciences with a good understanding of economic models and an affinity with tobacco control.
  • Good statistical skills.
  • Good writing and expressional skills in both Dutch and English Language
  • Good project management skills.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees .

We offer a full-time position (38 hours/week) with the Maastricht University at the Department of Health Promotion, of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, School CAPHRI. 

Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18,000 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

School CAPHRI, Department of Health Promotion

You will have an appointment as PhD candidate at the Department of Health Promotion, Faculty Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. The Department’s focus is on a systematic and planned approach to health promotion. You will work closely with prof. Marc Willemsen (endowed professor in Tobacco Control Research at the Department), who is employed at the Trimbos Institute. You will conduct your daily work at the Trimbos Institute (Utrecht), where you will have your office. The Trimbos Institute is the national Institute of Mental Health and Addiction and is home to the National Expertise Center for Tobacco Control (NET). The Trimbos Institute hosts about 20 PhD studies from various Dutch universities.

Additional information

For more information contact prof. Marc Willemsen, Department of Health Promotion,  email:

Application procedure

Maastricht University is committed to nurturing an inclusive culture and a welcoming atmosphere. This inclusiveness strategy has resulted in a very diverse representation of nationalities and cultures. We strongly believe that diversity (including, but not limited to nationality, age and gender) of the staff and student population will increase the quality of UM education & research. Fostering diversity and inclusivity creates an academic community where individual talents thrive, and values and differences are cherished. We strongly encourage you to apply if you are qualified for this position.

You can send your application to the following email address:

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Don't forget to mention AcademicTransfer and the job number: AT2019.274 in your letter.

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