Public Policy and Smoking Cessation Among Young Adults in the United States

Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago and Health Economics Group, National Bureau of Economic Research, 601 S. Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607-7121, USA.
Health Policy (Impact Factor: 1.91). 07/2004; 68(3):321-32. DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2003.10.007
Source: PubMed


In the wake of significant budget shortfalls, numerous states have increased cigarette excise taxes to boost revenues. This study examines whether or not increasing the price of cigarettes, which will occur as a consequence of cigarette excise tax increases, and implementing stronger restrictions on smoking in private worksites and other public places have an impact on smoking cessation decisions of young adults, thereby influencing public health in the United States (US). This paper employs longitudinal data on young adults from the Monitoring the Future Surveys matched with information on site-specific prices and measures of clean indoor air restrictions. A Cox regression is employed to estimate the smoking cessation equations. The estimates clearly indicate that increasing the price of cigarettes increases the number of young adults who quit smoking. The average price elasticity of cessation is 0.35. In addition, stronger restrictions on smoking in private worksites and public places other than restaurants increase the probability of young adult smoking cessation. Given the well-documented benefits of smoking cessation, a significant increase in cigarette excises taxes may be one of the most effective means to reduce premature death and disease in the United States.

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Available from: John A Tauras,
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    • "Based on longitudinal follow-up surveys of high school seniors from the Monitoring the Future Surveys, Tauras found that higher prices discouraged progression to heavier smoking [12] and increased cessation among young adults [13]. Tauras found that smoke-free workplace laws discourage young adults from progressing to heavier smoking [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the influence of tobacco control program funding, smoke-free air laws, and cigarette prices on young adult smoking outcomes. We use a natural experimental design approach that uses the variation in tobacco control policies across states and over time to understand their influence on tobacco outcomes. We combine individual outcome data with annual state-level policy data to conduct multivariable logistic regression models, controlling for an extensive set of sociodemographic factors. The participants are 18- to 25-year-olds from the 2002-2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. The three main outcomes are past-year smoking initiation, and current and established smoking. A current smoker was one who had smoked on at least 1 day in the past 30 days. An established smoker was one who had smoked 1 or more cigarettes in the past 30 days and smoked at least 100 cigarettes in his or her lifetime. Higher levels of tobacco control program funding and greater smoke-free-air law coverage were both associated with declines in current and established smoking (p < .01). Greater coverage of smoke-free air laws was associated with lower past year initiation with marginal significance (p = .058). Higher cigarette prices were not associated with smoking outcomes. Had smoke-free-air law coverage and cumulative tobacco control funding remained at 2002 levels, current and established smoking would have been 5%-7% higher in 2009. Smoke-free air laws and state tobacco control programs are effective strategies for curbing young adult smoking.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 11/2013; 54(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.09.015 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    • "The authors found that the 12-to 17-year-olds who had the lowest level of risk perception of long term and short-term health risks (measured by their subjective probability of experiencing a particular adverse effect, such as trouble breathing, lung cancer, etc.) were significantly more likely to start smoking. Some studies focused on the impact of tobacco control spending, which in part reflects the effect of information dissemination, and found significant effects on smoking behaviors among college students and youth (Ciecierski, Chatterji, Chaloupka, & Wechsler, 2011; Tauras, 2004). Naturally, these studies did not provide insights on the effectiveness of specific thematic contents. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper uses best-worst scaling, a choice-based survey method, to assess adolescents' level of concern for various adverse consequences of tobacco use. In addition to health risks cited most often (i.e., lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases), the study also focuses on less frequently mentioned health implications (e.g., effects on teeth, appearance, skin, weight and sexual dysfunction) and other adverse effects that are unrelated to health, such as cost, addiction, or manipulation by the tobacco industry. The relative importance of 15 items was assessed in a sample of 376 adolescents (ages 14-19 years) in Western Switzerland. The resulting data provide rich information on the relative importance of the items considered and even allow for the assessment of individual-level preference scales. The results indicate that apart from lung cancer that is consistently rated as being of most concern, less-mentioned health risks such as reduced physical capacity and sexual dysfunction are of significant importance. Subgroup analyses and results from a random parameter approach highlight substantial heterogeneity in preferences that should be exploited in future prevention messages.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 03/2012; 75(1):87-97. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.02.024 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    • "Cigarette taxes have primarily been imposed to generate revenue, since they were first levied prior to the health warnings regarding cigarette smoking. However, economists have clearly demonstrated that an increase in cigarette taxes leads to a decrease in cigarette consumption given several individual and location fixed effects (Baltagi and Levin, 1986; Flewelling et al, 1992; Peterson et al, 1992; Lewit et al, 1997; Ringel and Evans, 2001; Tauras, 2004, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Neoclassical economic theory predicts that policies that discourage the consumption of a particular good will induce innovation in a socially desirable substitute. Evolutionary theory emphasizes the possibility of innovation waves associated with the identification of new dominant designs. We incorporate both of these possibilities in a model of the invention of new smoking cessation products, based on a new dataset of patents on such products from 1951-2004. We find that an increase in cigarette tax levels and smoking bans had no discernible impact on the industry-wide rate of invention in smoking cessation products. It does appear, however, that dominant designs did have substantial positive innovation effects. More specifically, the introduction of the nicotine gum and patch are estimated to have increased the rate of patenting activity in smoking cessation products by 60 and 79 percent, respectively, subject to a 10 percent rate of decay. Finally, these products had larger innovation effects at the firm level than among individual inventors.Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at
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