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Comparison between online and offline price of tobacco products using novel datasets

Opazo Breton, Magdalena; Britton, John; Huang, Yue; Bogdanovica, Ilze


John Britton

Data Analyst


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 handrolling 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.


Opazo Breton, M., Britton, J., Huang, Y., & Bogdanovica, I. (2018). Comparison between online and offline price of tobacco products using novel datasets. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(10), 2282.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 14, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 17, 2018
Publication Date Oct 17, 2018
Deposit Date Oct 17, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 17, 2018
Journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Print ISSN 1660-4601
Electronic ISSN 1660-4601
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 10
Article Number 2282
Pages 2282
Keywords cigarettes; prices; tobacco
Public URL
Publisher URL


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