Increases in cigarette prices lead to significant increases in binge drinking in young adults, a new study suggests.
The study found increased cigarette prices due to taxes did not decrease smoking rates in people under 30, The Atlantic reports.
The researchers based their findings on data from the 2001-2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys, which included 1.3 million people. They found increases in state cigarette prices were associated with increases in current drinking among people ages 65 and older, and binge and heavy drinking among those ages 21 to 29. They found reductions in smoking among adults ages 30 to 64, drinking among those ages 18 to 20, and binge drinking among those 65 and older.
“Researchers, practitioners, advocates, and policymakers should work together to understand and prepare for these unintended consequences of tobacco taxation policy,” the researchers wrote in the journal Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy.