Increased Cigarette Tax is Associated with Reductions in Alcohol Consumption in a Longitudinal U.S. Sample
Article first published online: 9 AUG 2013
Copyright © 2013 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 38, Issue 1, pages 241–248, January 2014
How to Cite
Young-Wolff, K. C., Kasza, K. A., Hyland, A. J. and McKee, S. A. (2014), Increased Cigarette Tax is Associated with Reductions in Alcohol Consumption in a Longitudinal U.S. Sample. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38: 241–248. doi: 10.1111/acer.12226
- Issue published online: 21 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 9 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 11 DEC 2012
- NIH. Grant Numbers: R21 AA018273, P50DA033945, T32 HL007034
- Cigarette Tax;
- Hazardous Drinking;
Cigarette taxation has been recognized as one of the most significant policy instruments to reduce smoking. Smoking and drinking are highly comorbid behaviors, and the public health benefits of cigarette taxation may extend beyond smoking-related outcomes to impact alcohol consumption. The current study is the first to test whether increases in cigarette taxes are associated with reductions in alcohol consumption among smokers using a large, prospective U.S. sample.
Our sample included 21,473 alcohol consumers from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to evaluate whether increases in cigarette taxes between Waves 1 (2001 to 2002) and 2 (2004 to 2005) were associated with reductions in quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption, adjusting for demographics, baseline alcohol consumption, and alcohol price. Stratified analyses were conducted by sex, hazardous drinking status, and age and income group.
Increases in cigarette taxes were associated with modest reductions in typical quantity of alcohol consumption and frequency of binge drinking among smokers. Cigarette taxation was not associated with changes in alcohol consumption among nonsmokers. In analyses stratified by sex, the inverse associations of cigarette taxes with typical quantity and binge drinking frequency were found only for male smokers. Further, the inverse association of cigarette taxation and alcohol consumption was stronger among hazardous drinkers (translating into approximately 1/2 a drink less alcohol consumption per episode), young adult smokers, and smokers in the lowest income category.
Findings from this longitudinal, epidemiological study suggest increases in cigarette taxes are associated with modest to moderate reductions in alcohol consumption among vulnerable groups. Additional research is needed to further quantify the public health benefits of cigarette taxation on alcohol consumption and to evaluate the potential broader crossover effects of cigarette taxation on other health behaviors.