Can You Tax People into Quitting Smoking?

With the long list of health problems caused by cigarette smoking, it appears people need a different push to quit. This time, the push is extreme taxes on every pack of cigarettes in California giving them the ninth spot on the list of highest taxes for pack of cigarettes. The goal to be achieved here would be to make each pack so expensive that smokers would have no choice but to quit. Research at the University of California, San Francisco estimates that the price hike will reduce the smoking prevalence over the course of the next five years from twelve percent to seven percent. In addition to the price hike, another measure being taken would be to reinvest some of the tax revenues into tobacco control programs. The amount of healthcare costs saved are staggering at a whopping one hundred and thirty eight billion. This is recorded before this tax hike when into effect. At first, to the low-income smokers, they will feel as though they are losing, but what they may not immediately realize is how much help they are actually receiving by regaining their health back. The group of teenagers that will not be able to purchase their own packs of cigarettes to become future smokers. The amount of money leaving the state for every cigarette purchased will now go back into the community leading to a boost in health, jobs, and overall well-being.

Key Points:

  • 1In 2016, California hiked its cigarette tax by two dollars.
  • 2California now has one of the top ten highest cigarette taxes in the country.
  • 3Collaborative research suggests that a ten percent hike in the cigarette tax can reduce the cigarette smoking by four percent.

The bottom line is that significant tax increases are the single most effective way to reduce tobacco use

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