The economic impact of state cigarette taxes and smoke-free air policies on convenience stores
- 1Health Policy Center, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
- 2Department of Economics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Division of Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Correspondence to Dr Jidong Huang, Health Policy Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1747 West Roosevelt Road, Room 422, Chicago, IL 60608, USA;
Contributors This study was designed by FJC and JH; the analysis was done by JH; JH and FJC wrote the analysis and final draft.
- Received 12 August 2011
- Accepted 29 September 2011
- Published Online First 1 November 2011
Objectives To investigate whether increasing state cigarette taxes and/or enacting stronger smoke-free air (SFA) policies have negative impact on convenience store density in a state, a proxy that is determined by store openings and closings, which reflects store profits.
Methods State-level business count estimates for convenience stores for 50 states and District of Columbia from 1997 to 2009 were analysed using two-way fixed effects regression techniques that control for state-specific and year-specific determinants of convenience store density. The impact of tax and SFA policies was examined using a quasi-experimental research design that exploits changes in cigarette taxes and SFA policies within a state over time.
Results Taxes are found to be uncorrelated with the density of combined convenience stores and gas stations in a state. Taxes are positively correlated with the density of convenience stores; however, the magnitude of this correlation is small, with a 10% increase in state cigarette taxes associated with a 0.19% (p<0.05) increase in the number of convenience stores per million people in a state. State-level SFA policies do not correlate with convenience store density in a state, regardless whether gas stations were included. These results are robust across different model specifications. In addition, they are robust with regard to the inclusion/exclusion of other state-level tobacco control measures and gasoline prices.
Conclusions Contrary to tobacco industry and related organisations' claims, higher cigarette taxes and stronger SFA policies do not negatively affect convenience stores.
- Cigarette tax
- smoke-free air policies
- convenience store density
- public policy
- surveillance and monitoring
- advertising and promotion
- taxation and price
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.