Regulating Tobacco

By Robert L. Rabin; Stephen D. Sugarman | Go to book overview

3
Taxing Tobacco: The Impact of
Tobacco Taxes on Cigarette Smoking
and Other Tobacco Use
DANIEL REISBERG AND FRIDERIKE HEUER
Frank J. Chaloupka, Melanie Wakefield, &
Christina Czart

For centuries, governments at all levels have taxed tobacco and tobacco products. Historically, these taxes have been used because of their relatively low administrative costs and their substantial revenue-generating potential. This potential was based, in large part, on the perception that tobacco use was insensitive to price. However, over the past several decades, numerous studies using a wide variety of data and statistical methods have found that tobacco use is no exception to the basic principles of economics. These studies clearly show that increases in the prices of tobacco products, including those that result from increased taxation, lead to significant reductions in cigarette smoking and other tobacco use. With this evidence, more recent increases in tobacco taxes have been motivated, at least in part, by their potential to reduce tobacco use and its health consequences. Critics of these taxes, however, argue that increases in taxes are inappropriate and will have harmful economic effects, including increased smuggling and significant job losses.

This chapter explores the use of tobacco taxes in the United States. The history of federal and state tobacco taxes and the administration of these taxes are briefly reviewed, followed by a discussion of the impact of increases in taxes on the prices of tobacco products, including a discussion of industry responses to higher taxes. We then describe the evidence from the large and growing literature examining the effects of tobacco taxes on cigarette smoking and other tobacco use. Rationales for tobacco taxation and a short discussion of barriers to tobacco taxation follow. Finally, the chapter concludes by highlighting the potential for higher tobacco taxes as part of a comprehensive set

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Regulating Tobacco
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Contents vii
  • About the Contributors ix
  • Regulating Tobacco *
  • 1 - Perspectives on Policy: Introduction 3
  • 2 - The Politics of Tobacco Regulation in the United States 11
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 3 - Taxing Tobacco: The Impact of Tobacco Taxes on Cigarette Smoking and Other Tobacco Use 39
  • References *
  • 4 - Marketing Policies 72
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 5 - Reducing Harm to Smokers: Methods, Their Effectiveness, and the Role of Policy 111
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 6 - Reducing the Supply of Tobacco to Youths 143
  • References *
  • 7 - The Third Wave of Tobacco Tort Litigation 176
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 8 - Clean Indoor Air Restrictions: Progress and Promise 207
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 9 - International Aspects of Tobacco Control and the Proposed Who Treaty 245
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • Index 285
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