1991; Daughton et al., 1992) and significant decreases in nonsmokers' exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (Borland et al., 1991; Hammond et al., 1995). There is mixed evidence as to whether bans result in higher quit rates; two studies have found positive effects of such bans (Longo et al., 1996; Stave and Jackson, 1991), but others have found no effect (Daughton et al., 1992).

Prices and Use

The federal government taxes tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, and all the states have additional taxes on these products (IOM, 1989; DHHS, 1991). Raising the costs of legal drugs such as alcohol and cigarettes has been shown to decrease use. For example, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is reduced when prices are increased (IOM, 1989). This is especially likely for youth (one study found that a 10-cent increase in the price of beer resulted in a 15 percent decrease in the numbers of youths who drink 3 to 5 beers each day, while a 30-cent increase in the price of distilled spirits resulted in a 27 percent decline in the numbers of youths who were heavy drinkers of liquor [Grossman et al., 1987]). As a result, taxes have the potential for decreasing consumption. Although taxes have tended to increase over the years, they have not risen nearly as much as other increases in cost; for example, in 1990 federal taxes accounted for 11 percent of the cost of cigarettes to consumers, compared to 37 percent in 1950.

In contrast to efforts to decrease consumption, "happy hour" promotions at bars and restaurants, which offer discounts on drinks or free food with drinks, resulted in increased consumption in barroom and restaurant settings (Babor et al., 1980).

In 1988, California voters passed Proposition 99, which increased the tax on a package of cigarettes from 10 cents to 35 cents (Tobacco Education Oversight Committee, 1993). Twenty percent of the funds from the tax were allocated to anti-tobacco education in schools and communities. Studies have shown a clear effect on consumption of the resulting increased per pack price of cigarettes. For example, the month the increase went into effect, there was a 25 percent decline in cigarette consumption (Hu et al., 1994) and it is estimated that sales were reduced by 819 million packs between 1990 and 1992 (Hu et al., 1995). Between 1988 and 1992, the proportion of Californians ages 20 and older who smoked dropped from 27 percent to 20 percent and cigarette consumption (defined as the number of packs sold per civilian adult) decreased by 14 percent (Tobacco Education Oversight Committee, 1993). Unfortunately, there were no differences in smoking behavior for adolescents ages 12 to 17. In contrast, prior to 1988 nationwide smoking during those years increased followed by smaller decreases from 1988 to 1992 for adults, and statistically significant decreases for adolescents.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement