Learning Objectives: Understand the role that state excise taxes can play in promoting adolescent smoking cessation.
Abstract: The primary question this study addresses is whether or not state cigarette excise taxes have an effect on adolescent smoking cessation. Typically, researchers investigating the effect of cigarette excise taxes on adolescent smoking rates have assumed that the impact of higher excise taxes on reductions in smoking prevalence results from reductions in smoking initiation for adolescents (Chaloupka et al, 2001). However, recent evidence indicates that the excise tax has no significant effect on adolescent smoking initiation (e.g. DeCicca et al, 2002). This is consistent with evidence that adolescent experimental smokers do not purchase a substantial portion of the cigarettes that they smoke (e.g. Emery et al, 1999). Taurus and Chaloupka (2001) examined the effect of the excise tax on smoking cessation among young adults and found a significant effect. This is the first study to address this issue in a sample of younger adolescents.
This study examines the effect of state excise taxes on adolescent smoking cessation using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative sample of American adolescents in grades 7-12. Using logistic regression I estimate the effect of the state excise tax on the probability that an adolescent smoker at wave one has transitioned to a non-smoking state at wave two. Separate equations are estimated for adolescents classified as experimental smokers and regular smokers at wave one.
An important result of this study is that the state cigarette excise tax has a statistically significant effect on adolescent smoking cessation.
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