Differential impact of state tobacco control policies among race and ethnic groups

Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL 60607-7121, USA.
Addiction (Impact Factor: 4.74). 11/2007; 102 Suppl 2(s2):95-103. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.01960.x
Source: PubMed


This paper describes patterns of racial and ethnic cigarette use in the United States and discusses changes in state-level tobacco control policies. Moreover, this paper reviews the existing econometric literature on racial and ethnic smoking and discusses the limitations of that research. Finally, this paper outlines an agenda for future research.
Patterns of racial and ethnic smoking and changes in state-level tobacco control policies in the United States were obtained from a variety of sources, including surveys and government and private documents and databases. After an extensive literature search was completed, the existing research was scrutinized and recommendations for much-needed future research were put forth.
Despite the fact that certain racial and ethnic minorities bear a disproportionate share of the overall health burden of tobacco, less than a handful of econometric studies have examined the effects of state-level public policies on racial and ethnic smoking. The existing literature finds Hispanics and African Americans to be more responsive to changes in cigarette prices than whites. Only one study examined other state-level tobacco policies. The findings from that study implied that adolescent white male smoking was responsive to changes in smoke-free air laws, while adolescent black smoking was responsive to changes in youth access laws.
While much has been learned from prior econometric studies on racial and ethnic smoking in the United States, the existing literature suffers from numerous limitations that should be addressed in future research. Additional research that focuses on races and ethnicities other than white, black and Hispanic is warranted. Furthermore, future studies should use more recent data, hold sentiment toward tobacco constant and control for a comprehensive set of tobacco policies that take into account not only the presence of the laws, but also the level of restrictiveness of each policy.

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    • "Although federal, state and local policies aimed at regulating and restricting tobacco use and sales are intended to protect all members of these communities equally, there is evidence that these policies may have disparate impacts on disparate populations (Moore, Annechino, & Lee, 2009; Moore, Lee, Antin, & Martin, 2006; Moore, McLellan, Tauras, & Fagan, 2009; Tauras, 2007). Regulatory policies that aim to reduce tobacco use by raising the costs of smoking may disproportionately impact ethnic minority smokers (Tauras, 2007). Policies aimed at restricting sales of tobacco products have also been shown to be unevenly enforced in some locales. "
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    • "Since the mid-1980s, tobacco control policies, particularly clean indoor air laws and tax increases (to increase cigarette price) have been implemented (Institute of Medicine, 2007). There is little information on the effects of these policies on health disparities (Tauras, 2007). Although smoking rates have decreased overall, as of 2004 race/ ethnic disparities in smoking participation have deepened since the late 1990s according to National Health Interview Survey data: whites and American Indians/Alaska Natives who have the highest prevalence of smoking participation have seen smaller relative decreases in smoking rates than blacks, Asian Americans and Latinos (Fagan et al., 2007). "
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