Costly Cigarettes and Smoke-Free Homes
Researchers find both effectively reduce tobacco consumption among low-income smokers
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say high-priced cigarettes and smoke-free homes effectively reduce smoking behaviors among low-income individuals – a demographic in which tobacco use has remained comparatively high.
Writing in the October 17, 2013 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, principal investigator John P. Pierce, PhD, professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director for population sciences at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, and colleagues found that expensive cigarettes – $4.50 or more per pack – were associated with lower consumption across all levels.
“Living in a state where the average price paid for cigarettes is low ($3.20 or less per pack) means that all smokers, regardless of income, will smoke a lot more than those who live in a state with higher prices,” said Pierce. “This is the case for those living below the federal poverty level as well as for the wealthy.”
When smokers agreed to a smoke-free home, not only were they more likely to reduce their smoking but, in addition, if they quit, they were less likely to relapse.
“Price is a deterrent to smoking,” said Pierce, “but successful quitting (90 or more days) was associated in this study only with a smoke-free home.”