Increasing taxes as a strategy to reduce cigarette use and deaths: results of a simulation model

Prev Med. 2000 Sep;31(3):279-86. doi: 10.1006/pmed.2000.0696.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop a simulation model to predict the effects of taxes on the smoking rate and smoking-attributable deaths.

Methods: The model projects the number of smokers and smoking-related deaths from a baseline year forward. The effects of taxes of different sizes, indexed and unindexed, and temporary vs sustained are modeled.

Results: The model predicts that sustained tax increases have the potential to substantially reduce the number of smokers and the number of premature deaths, with the effects growing over time. Indexing taxes to inflation stems erosion of the tax effect.

Conclusions: Tax hikes have the ability to substantially affect smoking rates in the near term. These effects grow over time and lead to substantial savings in lives and health care costs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cost Savings
  • Forecasting
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Inflation, Economic
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Econometric*
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / economics
  • Smoking / mortality*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking / trends
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Taxes* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Industry / economics*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Value of Life