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Tobacco cessation and household spending on non-tobacco goods: results from the US Consumer Expenditure Surveys


Objectives To estimate the impact of tobacco cessation on household spending on non-tobacco goods in the USA.

Methods Using 2006–2015 Consumer Expenditure Survey data, 9130 tobacco-consuming households were followed for four quarters. Households were categorised during the fourth quarter as having: (1) recent tobacco cessation, (2) long-term cessation, (3) relapsed cessation or (4) no cessation. Generalised linear models were used to compare fourth quarter expenditures on alcohol, food at home, food away from home, housing, healthcare, transportation, entertainment and other goods between the no-cessation households and those with recent, long-term or relapsed cessation. The full sample was analysed, and then analysed by income quartile.

Results In the full sample, households with long-term and recent cessation had lower spending on alcohol, food, entertainment and transportation (p<0.001). Recent cessation was further associated with reduced spending on food at home (p<0.001), whereas relapsed cessation was associated with higher spending on healthcare and food away from home (p<0.001). In the highest income quartile, long-term and recent cessations were associated with reduced alcohol spending only (p<0.001), whereas in the lowest income quartile, long-term and recent cessations were associated with lower spending on alcohol, food at home, transportation and entertainment (p<0.001).

Conclusions Households that quit tobacco spend less in areas that enable or complement their tobacco cessation, most of which may be motivated by financial strain. The most robust association between tobacco cessation and spending was the significantly lower spending on alcohol.

  • Cessation
  • Economics
  • Public policy

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