The expensive cost of cigarettes in many states due to high taxes may not only help people quit smoking. It might also decrease alcohol consumption, according to a new study.
Melissa J. Krauss, MPH, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, and colleagues analyzed the change in the cost of cigarettes between 1980 and 2009 and compared it to per capita alcohol consumption over the same period.
A 10% increase in the price of cigarettes led to a 1% decrease in per capita alcohol consumption, the researchers reported in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
For example, in New York, which is the state with the highest per pack excise tax, per capita alcohol consumption fell from 2.91 gallons per person to 2.06 during the study period. But in Missouri, the state with the lowest excise tax, per capita alcohol consumption came in at 2.44 gallons at the start of the study period and 2.42 gallons by the end.
"Raising taxes on alcohol would go a long way toward reducing excessive alcohol consumption, but there has been a lot of resistance to doing that,” study co-author Richard A. Grucza, PhD, also of Washington University, said in a statement. “Our study shows that strengthening tobacco-control policies might be another way to accomplish this.”
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In the U.S., higher cigarette taxes and strict smoke-free policies not only curb smoking but also lower alcohol consumption, a new study shows.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that a 10% increase in the price of cigarettes leads to a 1% decrease in per capita alcohol consumption. But states with the highest prices and most restrictive anti-smoking policies, such as New York and Illinois, saw the greatest declines in alcohol consumption.