Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the relative effects of taxation vs an anti-smoking media campaign on cigarette consumption in California.
Methods: Quarterly cigarette sales data reported by the California State Board of Equalization between 1980 and 1992 were used to estimate a time-series model, adjusted for seasonal variations and time trends.
Results: The estimated results show that sales of cigarettes were reduced by 819 million packs from the third quarter of 1990 through the fourth quarter of 1992 owing to an additional 25-cent state tax increase, while the anti-smoking media campaign reduced the cigarette sales by 232 million packs during the same period.
Conclusions: Both taxation and anti-smoking media campaigns are effective means of reducing cigarette consumption. The strength of those effects, however, is influenced by the magnitude of the taxes and the amount of media campaign expenditures.