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Table 5 What are the best estimates of the impacts? Case example: The licensing of tobacco retailers

From: SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP) 16: Using research evidence in balancing the pros and cons of policies

The expert report on policies to reduce teenage smoking commissioned by the government concerned estimated that licensing tobacco retailers would result in a 10% relative reduction in the number of smokers. Using the current prevalence of smokers as a reference, the absolute effect of the policy was estimated to be a reduction of 1,650 smokers per year. Based on epidemiological models of the increased risk of dying due to smoking, the experts estimated that this policy would save 9,240 lives per year. No confidence intervals were provided, although it was noted that the actual effect was very uncertain and a range of estimates was used to calculate the cost-effectiveness of licensing tobacco retailers. Administrative costs were estimated, based on an estimate of how many retailers sold tobacco, an assumption about what it would cost to process each licence, and an assumption about what each inspection would cost (to check compliance with the requirement not to sell tobacco to minors).
Using these different assumptions, the total estimated cost was between €7.2 million and €10.5 million per year.
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