Price effects on the smoking behaviour of adult age groups

Public Health. 2008 Dec;122(12):1343-8. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2008.05.019. Epub 2008 Oct 25.


Objectives: To provide a cigarette price elasticity reference for adult age groups, and to estimate the smoking behaviour changes in US adults in light of unprecedented state excise tax increases on cigarettes during the 1990s.

Study design: Individual-level data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for 1993-2000 were merged with state-level cigarette price and tax data.

Methods: Data were analysed for different age groups using a weighted least squares regression framework. The outcome variables measured were whether an individual was a smoker, whether he/she had tried to quit smoking during the previous year, and how many cigarettes were smoked per day among the total population and among active smokers.

Results: This study confirmed previous results that younger individuals are more responsive to price changes than older individuals. Although older age groups are less sensitive to price changes, their smoking behaviour changes are still statistically significant.

Conclusions: This study found that while older individuals are less responsive to price changes than younger individuals, their behavioural changes due to cigarette price increases should not be ignored.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data*
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion / economics*
  • Health Promotion / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Smoking / economics*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / economics*
  • Smoking Cessation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Social Marketing*
  • Taxes / economics*
  • Taxes / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology