People are more likely to quit smoking if cigarette prices increase

(Mirror Daily, United States) – Authorities might have found a clever strategy to convince people to quit smoking. A recent study suggests it might take only a one dollar increase in the cigarette prices to determine more smokers abandon this habit. Researchers monitored all changes which occurred in cigarette prices for the past 10 years, and analyzed how they affected the smokers’ lives.

Researchers looked at the behavior of both older and younger smokers. Those who have been smoking for a longer period of time have better rooted habits, so it’s obviously harder for them to quit. However, they managed to notice something interesting.

A one dollar increase in cigarette prices is enough to change the smokers’ mind

Even when prices increased by only one dollar, the behavior of the smokers changed. Even older people who had been practicing this habit for ages were determined to try to quit after having to pay slightly more for their cigarettes. Therefore, a change on nicotine taxes might be a good way to make more people quit smoking.

Smoking is an important public health issue, as it remains one of the main causes of death which is completely preventable. Therefore, a close surveillance of neighborhood tobacco prices, as well as the smoking habits of the population brought a possible solution to this health crisis.

The effect was stronger among heavy smokers

The study analyzed data collected between 2002 and 2012 in a different study, MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, and it contained participants aged between 44 and 84. Results showed a chance of 20 percent for smokers to quit if they had to pay one dollar more for a cigarette pack. Also, the risk decreased by 3 percent.

Moreover, when researchers concentrated only on heavy smokers, they observed how the risk decreased even more. Also, they significantly reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked per day. Scientists explained that, since they tend to smoke more cigarettes per day, a price increase affects them more, even if it’s a small one.

The study looked at people over 44. However, researchers are optimistic, and they believe the effect of a one dollar increase might be even stronger among smokers of a younger age.
Image Source: Pixabay