Objective To evaluate the impact of cigarette prices on adult smoking for four US racial/ethnic groups: whites, African–Americans, Asians and Hispanics.
Methods We analysed pooled cross-sectional data from the 2006/2007 and 2010/2011 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (n=339 921 adults aged 18+) and cigarette price data from the Tax Burden on Tobacco. Using a two-part econometric model of cigarette demand that controlled for sociodemographic characteristics, state-level antismoking sentiment, local-level smoke-free air laws and monthly indicator, we estimated for each racial/ethnic group the price elasticities of smoking participation, smoking intensity and total demand for cigarettes.
Results Smoking prevalence for whites, African–Americans, Asians and Hispanics during the study period was 18.3%, 16.1%, 8.2% and 11.3%, respectively. The price elasticity of smoking participation was statistically significant for whites, African–Americans, Asians and Hispanics at −0.26, –0.10, −0.42 and −0.11, respectively. The price elasticity of smoking intensity was statistically significant among whites (−0.22) and African–Americans (−0.17). Overall, the total price elasticity of cigarette demand was statistically significant for all racial/ethnic groups: 0.48 for whites, −0.27 for African–Americans, −0.22 for Asians and −0.15 for Hispanics.
Conclusions Our results suggest that raising cigarette prices, such as via tobacco tax increases, would result in reduced cigarette consumption for all racial/ethnic groups. The magnitude of the effect and the impact on cessation and reduced smoking intensity differ across these groups.
- price elasticity
- smoking participation
- smoking intensity
- cigarette demand
- U.S. adults
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Contributors TY conducted all the data analyses and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors helped design the analytical approach and the data analysis and contributed to the interpretation of the analytical results. All authors provided comments, assisted in revising the drafts and approved the final manuscript.
Funding This study was supported by grant number 22RT-0112 from the Tobacco Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) at the University of California, Office of the President.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.