Objective: To evaluate the utilization of a tobacco quit line prior to and after an increase in tobacco taxes.
Methods: Intake data were utilized to assess the number of callers to the quit line between May 2004 and April 2006. The characteristics of callers were also compared over three time periods; the 5 months prior to a voter initiative to increase the tax (May-September 2004), the 3 months just prior to the tax increase (October-December 2004), and the 5 months after the tax became effective (January-May 2005).
Results: The mean number of intake calls to the quit line between May 2004 and April 2006 was 388 per month (range = 200-1 088). The number of calls per month increased just prior to and just after the tax increase (3-month moving average = 691-731 calls). Persons completing an intake between October to December 2004 and January to May 2005 were more likely to be younger than 45 years, woman, White, smoke one or more packs of cigarettes per day, and were less likely to have tried to quit using tobacco in the past year than did persons calling between May and September 2004.
Conclusions: Organizations supporting quit lines should anticipate an increase in the utilization of these services and changes in the characteristics of callers prior to and following an increase in tobacco taxes.