If these programs were funded at the levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), states could save an astonishing 14-20 times more than the cost of implementing the programs. The costs of smoking are felt by the states, mostly through medical costs, Medicaid payments and lost productivity by workers.
The evidence is clear that state tobacco control programs have a "sustained and steadily increasing long-run impact" on the demand for cigarettes, Chattopadhyay and his colleague David R. Pieper at University of California, Berkeley write in a paper published online today in the journal Contemporary Economic Policy. Chattopadhyay is the chair of the Economics Department and professor of economics.
The study uses data from 1991 to 2007, during which time the states paid for the programs with the help of the tobacco tax, public and private initiatives and funds from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement between the nation's four largest tobacco companies and 46 states.
Unfortunately, says Chattopadhyay, funding for the programs has been declining steadily since about 2002. In 2010, states on average were spending 17 percent of the total investment recommended by the CDC for the programs. And in tough economic times, many states have turned to cigarette taxes to raise revenue.
Chattopadhyay said the shift in spending priorities was part of his motivation for examining the benefits and costs behind the programs. "Almost all states are facing financial crisis, and they are really diverting their funds, possibly moving funds from productive use."
Unless the benefits of fully funding the programs are shown to outweigh the costs, the researchers suggest, states may continue to divert revenue away from the programs.
After accounting for multiple factors, the researchers determined that tobacco control programs do reduce the demand for cigarettes. It's a trend that grows over time, in part because it takes smokers time to quit and because the programs become more efficient at delivering their services.
Unlike earlier studies, Chattopadhyay and Pieper even examined the effects of different state tobacco taxes, and how the differences might affect cigarette demand. Smokers in a state with a high tobacco tax could be more easily tempted to buy cigarettes if they share a border with a low-tax state, for instance. Tobacco taxes can range from less than 20 cents per pack in some states to nearly $5 in others.
In 2007, the CDC revised its recommendations on how much states should spend on tobacco control programs to make them successful. If individual states would follow the new CDC guidelines, they could realize future savings of 14-20 times what the programs cost, the study concluded. Chattopadhyay said he would like to deliver the results of the study to the states, "to convince them that they can use that money for more productive purposes" and to encourage them not to let their past investments in tobacco control programs go to waste.
"They would save money in terms of reduced Medicaid, and reduced medical and productivity costs," he said. "Those kinds of costs are only going to go up."
"Does spending more on tobacco control programs make economic sense? An incremental benefit-cost analysis using panel data" was published online Nov. 28 in the journal Contemporary Economic Policy.
Elaine Bible | EurekAlert!
Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
23.02.2017 | Life Sciences