Health Behaviors Tobacco Use Diet & Exercise Alcohol & Drug Use Sexual Activity Search Policies & Programs

hints
Display All Policies & Programs

Tobacco pricing

Health Factors: Tobacco Use
Decision Makers: Local Government State Government Federal Government
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 20-49% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

Is this program or policy in use in your community? Tell us about it.

Description

Tobacco per unit prices are usually increased through taxes, but can also be increased by point-of-sale fees. Prices may be increased at the state, federal, or local level; some local governments cannot enact such measures due to state preemption legislation (CG-Tobacco use).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Reduced number of tobacco users
Reduced youth smoking
Increased quit rates
Reduced tobacco consumption
Reduced health care costs

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that increasing the unit price of tobacco decreases tobacco use and consumption and improves quit rates among adults and young people (CG-Tobacco use, Wilson 2012). Increasing the price of tobacco also reduces tobacco initiation among young people (CG-Tobacco use).

Effects are proportional to the amount of the price increase. Research indicates that a 20% increase in unit price could reduce tobacco consumption by 10%, adult tobacco use rates by 4%, and youth initiation by 9% (CG-Tobacco use).

Researchers suggest expanding cessation services in conjunction with price increases and  incorporating funding for tobacco prevention and control to build acceptance of these policies. Researchers also warn that policies that treat different tobacco products differently may encourage users to substitute one tobacco product for another. Successful efforts to increase tobacco prices usually involve coalitions seeking both public health improvements and revenue (CG-Tobacco use).

Increasing tobacco prices may reduce disparities in tobacco use (CG-Tobacco use). Hispanics, blacks (CG-Tobacco use), children, adolescents, and individuals with low incomes appear to be most sensitive to price changes in tobacco products (Wilson 2012).

Tobacco price increases can generate substantial health care cost savings and avert the cost of lost work productivity due to tobacco related illnesses (CG-Tobacco use).

Implementation

United States

All states tax cigarettes. As of 2013, 7 states tax them at 50 cents or less per pack, and 16 require $2 or more. Most states also tax smokeless tobacco (CDC-STATE).

Most price increases occur at the state level, but recently communities have also begun raising prices through regulatory, health impact, or abatement fees. Revenue-sharing agreements with tribes can encourage tribal adoption of price increases. Some local governments cannot enact such measures due to state preemption legislation (CG-Tobacco use). 

Wisconsin

Wisconsin taxes cigarettes at $2.52 per pack (the ninth highest in the nation), and smokeless tobacco at 71% of the manufacturer’s list price (CDC-STATE).

Implementation Resources

CPHSS TCLC-Brossart 2014 - Brossart L, Moreland-Russell S, Walsh H, et al. Policy strategies: A tobacco control guide. St. Louis: Center for Public Health Systems Science (CPHSS), George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, Tobacco Control Legal Consortium (TCLC); 2014. Accessed on March 31, 2017
CPHSS TCLC-Brossart 2014a - Center for Public Health Systems Science (CPHSS). Pricing policy: A tobacco control guide. St. Louis: Center for Public Health Systems Science (CPHSS), George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, Tobacco Control Legal Consortium; 2014. Accessed on March 31, 2017
HealthPartners-CHA - HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research. Community health advisor (CHA): Resource for information on the benefits of evidence-based policies and programs: Helping communities understand, analyze, and model costs. Accessed on April 3, 2017
PHLC-Tobacco taxation - Tobacco Control Legal Consortium (TCLC). Taxation. Saint Paul: Public Health Law Center (PHLC). Accessed on March 31, 2017

Citations - Description

CG-Tobacco use - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Tobacco. Accessed on April 3, 2017

Citations - Evidence

CG-Tobacco use - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Tobacco. Accessed on April 3, 2017
Wilson 2012 - Wilson LM, Avila Tang E, Chander G, et al. Impact of tobacco control interventions on smoking initiation, cessation, and prevalence: A systematic review. Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2012;2012(961724):1-36. Accessed on March 31, 2017

Citations - Implementation

CDC-STATE - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). State tobacco activities tracking and evaluation (STATE) system. Accessed on March 31, 2017
CG-Tobacco use - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Tobacco. Accessed on April 3, 2017

Page Last Updated

March 13, 2014