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Do Higher Tobacco Taxes Reduce Adult Smoking? New Evidence of the Effect of Recent Cigarette Tax Increases on Adult Smoking

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  • Kevin Callison
  • Robert Kaestner

Abstract

There is a general consensus among policymakers that raising tobacco taxes reduces cigarette consumption. However, evidence that tobacco taxes reduce adult smoking is relatively sparse. In this paper, we extend the literature in two ways: using data from the Current Population Survey Tobacco Use Supplements we focus on recent, large tax changes, which provide the best opportunity to empirically observe a response in cigarette consumption, and employ a novel paired difference-in-differences technique to estimate the association between tax increases and cigarette consumption. Estimates indicate that, for adults, the association between cigarette taxes and either smoking participation or smoking intensity is negative, small and not usually statistically significant. Our evidence suggests that increases in cigarette taxes are associated with small decreases in cigarette consumption and that it will take sizable tax increases, on the order of 100%, to decrease adult smoking by as much as 5%.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Callison & Robert Kaestner, 2012. "Do Higher Tobacco Taxes Reduce Adult Smoking? New Evidence of the Effect of Recent Cigarette Tax Increases on Adult Smoking," NBER Working Papers 18326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18326
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    Cited by:

    1. Bishop, James, 2015. "Interacting effects of state cigarette taxes on smoking participation," MPRA Paper 66609, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Leah K. Lakdawala & David Simon, 2016. "The Intergenerational Consequences of Tobacco Policy," Working papers 2016-27, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:pal:easeco:v:43:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_s41302-016-0010-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. David Simon, 2014. "Cigarette Taxation and Pregnancy: Policy Based Estimates of the Price Elasticity of Smoking During Pregnancy," Working papers 2014-22, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    5. Donald Kenkel & Alan Mathios & Hua Wang, 2015. "Menthol Cigarette Advertising and Cigarette Demand," NBER Working Papers 21790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Michael F. Pesko & John A. Tauras & Jidong Huang & Frank J. Chaloupka, IV, 2016. "The Influence of Geography and Measurement in Estimating Cigarette Price Responsiveness," NBER Working Papers 22296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Johanna Catherine MacLean & Asia Sikora Kessler & Donald S. Kenkel, 2016. "Cigarette Taxes and Older Adult Smoking: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 424-438, April.
    8. Liberati, Paolo & Paradiso, Massimo, 2014. "Sulla composizione dell'accisa sui tabacchi: un'ipotesi di modifica del sistema di tassazione in Italia
      [On the structure of the excise taxes on tobacco: A reform proposal for Italy]
      ," MPRA Paper 55906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Anna Choi & Dhaval Dave & Joseph J. Sabia, 2016. "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Medical Marijuana Laws and Tobacco Use," NBER Working Papers 22554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:eee:joepsy:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:13-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. David Simon, 2013. "Does Early Life Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Permanently Harm Childhood Health? Evidence from Cigarette Tax Hikes," Working papers 2013-21, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised May 2015.
    12. Thomas W. Carton & Michael Darden & John Levendis & Sang H. Lee & Iben Ricket, 2016. "Comprehensive Indoor Smoking Bans and Smoking Prevalence: Evidence from the BRFSS," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 535-556, Fall.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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