New research in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science shows that doing something positive for public health can be costly. The researchers say that banning tobacco products means retailers may see as much as a 4% decline in gross sales.
"Our results highlight the role of tobacco as a traffic driver to brick-and-mortar stores and demonstrate the unintended microeconomic consequence of tobacco bans. These sales losses occur regardless of whether the ban is voluntary or not."
Pradeep Chintagunta, University of Chicago