People with mental-health problems and addictions seem to be especially sensitive to cigarette tax increases, with a 10-percent price hike translating into an 18-percent reduction in smoking, HealthDay News reported June 6.
The price-related reduction in smoking was observed among individuals with a variety of alcohol and other drug disorders, except for those with alcohol dependence. Researchers said that raising cigarette taxes could prevent smoking among addicted and mentally ill populations.
“Individuals with alcohol, drug or mental disorders comprise 40 percent of remaining smokers, and there is little literature on how to help these people quit smoking,” noted researcher Michael Ong of UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center.
The study was published online in the American Journal of Public Health.