Cigarette Taxation Helps to Reduce Drinking Rates

Smoking and Drinking

In the USA tobacco use and heavy drinking are among major causes of preventable diseases.  Cigarette taxation is considered one of most important policy tools to reduce smoking among Americans.

Most of all, drinking and smoking occur together. There was made a research on the field which analyzed the effects of cigarette taxation and it found out that cigarettes price increase is linked with modest to moderate reductions in alcohol usage among vulnerable groups of population.

The results of the research will be published in January 2014 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Sherry McKee, the author of the research and associate professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, said that together heavy drinking and smoking occur in terrifyingly high rates.

Tobacco use can intensify the effects of alcohol and even increase the risk for problematic and heavy drinking. Smokers drink more ofren and more heavily than non-smokers, and are more likely than non-smokers to become alcohol dependent.

Сo-occurrence of drinking and smoking has a particular clinical importance because of evidence that health effects increase with combined against singular abuse of alcohol and tobacco.

Christopher W. Kahler, professor and chair of the department of behavioral and social sciences at Brown School of Public Health, said that drinking and smoking are strongly connected for a number of reasons including corresponding pharmacologic effects, shared genetic associations, shared neuronal pathways, learned associations, common environmental factors. It is possible to fight these habits with pharmacotherapy, behavioral treatments and policy.

Cigarette taxes are considered most efficient tool to fight smoking. Increases in cigarette taxes reduces the number of people who want to start smoking and increases the number of people who want to quit. In other woeds, by increasing the price of cigarettes, taxes are thought to help smokers reduce tobacco use or even quit smoking, and prevent non-smokers from starting to smoke cigarettes.

McKee with her colleagues analyzed data received through interviews with 21,473 alcohol users as part the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a survey made by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

The researchers estimated how increases in cigarette taxes between Waves I (2001-2002) and II (2004-2005) were connected to reductions in frequency and quantity of alcohol use. The results of the study suggest that increases in cigarette taxes were connected to reductions in alcohol usage over time among men.

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