Tax Increases Help Reduce Smoking Habits

In accordance with a new research, as cigarette taxes raise, heavier smokers are likely to reduce the amount of cigarettes smoked.

Smoking Girl

Woman exhaling cigarette smoke

Washington University School of Medicine scientists determined 7,068 smokers and questioned them how much they smoked. The group returned three afterwards and requested the smokers the same question.

Typically, the scientists identified that everyone was smoking rather less. But, when tax raises were considered, they saw the heaviest smokers reduce the most.

The usual smoker during the beginning of the research smoked about 16 cigarettes a day. After three years, that amount decreased to 14 cigarettes per day.

During the study time, the price for a cigarette pack went up from an average of $3.96 in 2001 to $4.41 in 2004. Most of the raise was because of increases in state taxes.

The group identified that people who smoked 40 cigarettes a day would have been estimated to cut down by 11 the amount of cigarettes smoked every day with no tax raise. But, in those states where cigarette taxes increased by at least 35%, heavy smokers reduced their daily smoking by about 14 cigarettes.

The increasing tax prices on smokers less had a much smaller effect. People who smoked 20 cigarettes per day would have been estimated to reduce two cigarettes without a price hike. But, with the tax hike, they lowered their smoking by three cigarettes per day.

“Other study has demonstrated, for example, that tobacco-free indoor air policies can minimize the amount of cigarettes that people smoke,” Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, author of the paper said. “But our research didn’t identify that. There weren’t a lot of modifications in indoor smoking policies during the time period in which these researches were carried out.”

Other causes could have played a role, such as heavy smokers being more susceptible to have serious health problems that could present an extra incentive to stop smoking. Additionally, heavier smokers are more likely to receive encouragement to give up smoking from a doctor or family member.

Cavazos-Rehg stated that they are lowering the amount of cigarettes smoked and that if this helps a person give up finally, then the health benefits become clear.

Those in the previous research who lowered their smoking by one category or more were noticed to have a 15% decrease overall in mortality risk and a 23% reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality.


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