High Cigarette Taxes Curb Heavy Smoking

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — A new Washington University School of Medicine study finds as cigarette taxes go up — heavy smoking goes down.

Lead researcher Patricia Cavazos-Rehg says they surveyed 7,000 smokers across the United States over a three year period, and found those smokers who cut back the most were the heaviest smokers and those who lived in states where cigarette taxes increased the most.

“It seemed like everyone was decreasing there smoking behaviors, and heavy smokers were in that group,” Cavazos-Rehg said. “But when we added in the change in cigarette price the heavy smokers were decreasing their behaviors the most.”

Cavazos-Rehg says clean indoor air policies were not as influential as steeper cigarette taxes in getting smokers to quit or cut back. And while Cavazos-Rehg admits cutting back isn’t as beneficial as quitting, “if reducing helps an individual to eventually quit then the advantage become clear.”


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