Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Politics aside, cigarette taxes are linked to smoking decline

There's a lot of politics in taxes. So I'll leave lawmakers or voters to decide on cigarette taxes. However, if somehow, someday the tobacco industry grinds to a complete stop, I'll be OK with that.

Regardless of politics, though, check out how smoking declines as cigarette taxes rise:
The number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped by 8.5 million since 2005 — and that fall could be accelerated by a tobacco tax just passed in California.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says smoking rates have fallen from 21 percent of the adult population in 2005 to 15 percent in 2015, when the agency conducted its latest survey. The smoking rate fell by 1.7 percentage points between 2014 and 2015 alone – a substantial decline, according to a report Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Smokers light up less when cigarettes are more expensive. So, more smokers may have been nudged to quit after the federal government increased tobacco taxes by 62 cents a pack in 2009. California voters approved a $2 a pack tax on Election Day, so rates there are likely to fall farther.
Smoking is a key stroke risk factor. Fewer cigarettes smoke = less stroke risk.

(Image from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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