Tobacco control policies are egalitarian: a vulnerabilities perspective on clean indoor air laws, cigarette prices, and tobacco use disparities

Soc Sci Med. 2009 Apr;68(8):1439-47. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.02.003. Epub 2009 Mar 11.


This study models independent associations of state or local strong clean indoor air laws and cigarette prices with current smoker status and consumption in a multilevel framework, including interactions with educational attainment, household income and race/ethnicity and the relationships of these policies to vulnerabilities in smoking behavior. Cross sectional survey data are employed from the February 2002 panel of the Tobacco Use Supplement of the Current Population Survey (54,024 individuals representing the US population aged 15-80). Non-linear relationships between both outcome variables and the predictors were modeled. Independent associations of strong clean indoor air laws were found for current smoker status (OR 0.66), and consumption among current smokers (-2.36 cigarettes/day). Cigarette price was found to have independent associations with both outcomes, an effect that saturated at higher prices. The odds ratio for smoking for the highest versus lowest price over the range where there was a price effect was 0.83. Average consumption declined (-1.16 cigarettes/day) over the range of effect of price on consumption. Neither policy varied in its effect by educational attainment, or household income. The association of cigarette price with reduced smoking participation and consumption was not found to vary with race/ethnicity. Population vulnerability in consumption appears to be structured by non-white race categories, but not at the state and county levels at which the policies we studied were enacted. Clean indoor air laws and price increases appear to benefit all socio-economic and race/ethnic groups in our study equally in terms of reducing smoking participation and consumption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Public Health
  • Smoking / economics*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • State Government
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution