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.
Copyright 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.