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Cigarette taxes and smoking participation: evidence from recent tax increases in Canada.

Azagba S, Sharaf M - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2011)

Bottom Line: Consistent with the literature, we find evidence of a heterogeneous response to cigarette taxes among different groups of smokers.Contrary to most studies, we find that the middle age group-which constitutes the largest fraction of smokers in our sample-is largely unresponsive to taxes.While cigarette taxes remain popular with policy makers as an anti-smoking measure, identifying the socio-demographic characteristics of smokers who respond differentially to tax increase will help in designing appropriate supplementary measures to reduce smoking.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Economics, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Montréal, Quebec H3G 1M8, Canada. s_azagba@live.concordia.ca

ABSTRACT
Using the Canadian National Population Health Survey and the recent tax variation across Canadian provinces, this paper examines the impact of cigarette taxes on smoking participation. Consistent with the literature, we find evidence of a heterogeneous response to cigarette taxes among different groups of smokers. Contrary to most studies, we find that the middle age group-which constitutes the largest fraction of smokers in our sample-is largely unresponsive to taxes. While cigarette taxes remain popular with policy makers as an anti-smoking measure, identifying the socio-demographic characteristics of smokers who respond differentially to tax increase will help in designing appropriate supplementary measures to reduce smoking.

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Smoking participation by selected characteristics. Source: These figures are based on Table 1.
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f2-ijerph-08-01583: Smoking participation by selected characteristics. Source: These figures are based on Table 1.

Mentions: The decreased proportion of Canadian smokers is larger for most of the selected groups between the years 2000 and 2002 and average real cigarette tax went up during this period (see Table 1 and Figure 2). It should be noted that graphic pictorial warning labels were introduced during this period in Canada. However, some studies show that pictorial warnings have negligible impact on smoking prevalence in Canada [27,47]. There is a large percentage tax increase between 1998 and 2008 across all Canadian provinces. This tax increase is more than 100% for all of the eastern provinces (Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario) that had about a 50% tax reduction in 1994. An interesting observation from Tables 1 and 3 is that the provinces of Newfoundland and British Columbia had the lowest percentage tax increase between 2000 and 2002; as well as corresponding smallest smoking prevalence decrease. It should be noted that cigarette taxes were already at high levels in these areas; unlike other provinces, the tax change in Newfoundland and British Columbia did not have a large effect on smokers because they were already tax sensitized with the caveat that cigarette taxes caused the decline.


Cigarette taxes and smoking participation: evidence from recent tax increases in Canada.

Azagba S, Sharaf M - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2011)

Smoking participation by selected characteristics. Source: These figures are based on Table 1.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3108129&req=5

f2-ijerph-08-01583: Smoking participation by selected characteristics. Source: These figures are based on Table 1.
Mentions: The decreased proportion of Canadian smokers is larger for most of the selected groups between the years 2000 and 2002 and average real cigarette tax went up during this period (see Table 1 and Figure 2). It should be noted that graphic pictorial warning labels were introduced during this period in Canada. However, some studies show that pictorial warnings have negligible impact on smoking prevalence in Canada [27,47]. There is a large percentage tax increase between 1998 and 2008 across all Canadian provinces. This tax increase is more than 100% for all of the eastern provinces (Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario) that had about a 50% tax reduction in 1994. An interesting observation from Tables 1 and 3 is that the provinces of Newfoundland and British Columbia had the lowest percentage tax increase between 2000 and 2002; as well as corresponding smallest smoking prevalence decrease. It should be noted that cigarette taxes were already at high levels in these areas; unlike other provinces, the tax change in Newfoundland and British Columbia did not have a large effect on smokers because they were already tax sensitized with the caveat that cigarette taxes caused the decline.

Bottom Line: Consistent with the literature, we find evidence of a heterogeneous response to cigarette taxes among different groups of smokers.Contrary to most studies, we find that the middle age group-which constitutes the largest fraction of smokers in our sample-is largely unresponsive to taxes.While cigarette taxes remain popular with policy makers as an anti-smoking measure, identifying the socio-demographic characteristics of smokers who respond differentially to tax increase will help in designing appropriate supplementary measures to reduce smoking.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Economics, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Montréal, Quebec H3G 1M8, Canada. s_azagba@live.concordia.ca

ABSTRACT
Using the Canadian National Population Health Survey and the recent tax variation across Canadian provinces, this paper examines the impact of cigarette taxes on smoking participation. Consistent with the literature, we find evidence of a heterogeneous response to cigarette taxes among different groups of smokers. Contrary to most studies, we find that the middle age group-which constitutes the largest fraction of smokers in our sample-is largely unresponsive to taxes. While cigarette taxes remain popular with policy makers as an anti-smoking measure, identifying the socio-demographic characteristics of smokers who respond differentially to tax increase will help in designing appropriate supplementary measures to reduce smoking.

Show MeSH