Cigarette Taxes Reduce Suicide Risks

July 23, 2014 Taxation in USA

WASHINGTON D.C. – New evidence suggest that hiking tobacco taxes not only raise tax revenues and reduces the consumption of cigarettes, but also may reduce the occurrence of suicide.

The results of a new study published last week in the international medical journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research indicate that a strong and demonstrable correlation exists between taxes on tobacco products and the occurrence of suicide, showing that hiking taxes on tobacco reduces suicide risks.

According to the findings in the study, a one dollar increase of the average price of a pack of cigarettes sold in the USA over the years between 1990 and 2004 resulted in a 10 percent decrease in the occurrence of suicide in the state where the hike was implemented.

States which did not raise taxes on tobacco products in a given year saw a 6 percent increase in the occurrence of suicide, compared to the national average for that year.

Alongside the effect of taxes on the suicide risk of smokers, the analysis also indicated that suicide risks decreased in states which implemented clean air policies or banned smoking indoors and in public places.

The study noted that hikes to tobacco taxes were initially intended to rise extra tax revenues for state governments, however evidence now exists to suggest that such actions could have secondary benefits to health.

Photo By: Kristaps Bergfelds