Cigarette taxes help reduce drinking
Since drinking and smoking often occur together, researchers have found that increases in smoking taxes can also cut alcohol consumption in certain groups, That’s the conclusion of a recent study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Smoking and drinking are strongly linked for a variety of reasons, including complementary pharmacologic effects, shared neuronal pathways, shared genetic associations, common environmental factors and learned behaviors.
Researchers analyzed data gathered through personal interviews with 21,473 alcohol consumers as part of a survey on alcohol and related conditions. They looked at whether increases in cigarette taxes between 2001-2002 and 2004-2005 were associated with reduced quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption. The analysis was based on gender, hazardous drinking status, age, and income group as well as demographics, baseline alcohol consumption and alcohol price.
They found that increases in cigarette taxes were associated with reductions in alcohol consumption over time in male smokers. The effect was most pronounced in male heavy drinkers, young adults and those with the lowest income. Researchers say that if states increase taxes on cigarettes- which has proven to be an effective measure for curbing cigarette consumption--it may have an even broader benefit to public health.
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