A  A  A   Print
Cigarette Taxes Deter Heavy Drinking, Study Suggests

Cigarette Taxes Deter Heavy Drinking, Study Suggests

FRIDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Higher cigarette taxes help reduce drinking among certain groups of people, U.S. researchers say.

To assess the impact that increases in cigarette taxes between 2001-02 and 2004-05 had on drinking behavior, researchers analyzed data from more than 21,000 drinkers who took part in a survey from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

The cigarette tax increases were associated with modest to moderate reductions in drinking among "vulnerable groups," according to the study, which was published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

"Results suggest that increases in cigarette taxes were associated with reductions in alcohol consumption over time among male smokers," corresponding author Sherry McKee, an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, said in a journal news release. "The protective effects were most pronounced among subgroups who are most at risk for adverse alcohol-related consequences, including male heavy drinkers, young adults and those with the lowest income."

Smoking and heavy drinking occur together at very high rates, McKee said, noting that tobacco can enhance the subjective effects of alcohol and has been shown to increase the risk for heavy and problematic drinking.

Cigarette taxes, meanwhile, have been recognized as one of the most significant policy instruments to reduce smoking, McKee said. "By increasing the price of cigarettes, taxes are thought to encourage smokers to reduce their use of cigarettes or quit altogether, and discourage non-smokers from starting to smoke," she said.

Christopher Kahler, professor and chairman of the department of behavioral and social sciences at Brown School of Public Health, welcomed the new study. "These findings suggest that if states increase taxes on cigarettes, they are not only likely to reduce smoking -- based on a large body of literature -- but they also may have a modest impact on heavy drinking rates among men, those with lower income and those who drink most heavily," he said in the news release.

"In other words, policies that target one specific health behavior may have broader benefits to public health by affecting additional health behaviors that tend to co-occur with the targeted health behavior," he said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has more about alcohol use disorders.

SOURCE: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, news release, Aug. 9, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.