Can public policy deter smoking escalation among young adults?

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Abstract

In the wake of significant budget shortfalls, 37 states and the District of Columbia have recently increased cigarette excise taxes to boost revenues. This study examines the impact of increasing the price of cigarettes, which will occur as a consequence of cigarette excise tax increases, and implementing restrictions on smoking in private worksites, restaurants, government worksites, healthcare facilities, and other public places on young adult smoking progression. This paper employs nationally representative longitudinal data on young adults from the Monitoring the Future Surveys matched with information on site-specific prices and smokefree air laws. The estimates clearly indicate that increasing the price of cigarettes would substantially decrease the number of young adults who progress into higher intensities of smoking. In addition, private worksite restrictions and restrictions on smoking in other public places are found to decrease moderate smoking uptake among young adults. © 2005 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

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