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When Cigarette Taxes Increase So Does Harmful Drinking

Kyle Newton July 16, 2012 News & Politics No Comments

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It’s certainly no surprise that there are plenty of smokers out there who enjoy drinking when they smoke. But according to a new study more smokers turn to the bottle when they can’t afford cigarettes. Studies have shown that when cigarette tax increases occur it makes twenty something people want to drink more, perhaps to make up for the lack of nicotine that they have. What makes this particularly bad is that the drinking that they do is normally of the harmful variety.

Many are using this as an example of how if you take away one stimulant, people will find another to use, though alcohol is technically a depressant (hence how it can lead to more harm than enjoyment). And to those who had been supporting higher cigarette taxes in the hopes of getting smokers to quit by making their wallets cry: it’s apparently not working. The study shows that smokers over thirty continued to buy cigarettes even with the increased prices.

So what exactly does this say about the tax increases? Given that the increases have become a source of motivation for criminals in the form of smuggling it does not say anything good about it. The addition of harmful drinking only adds to the negative effects of the increased taxes. Perhaps this human element should be considered before further taxes are proposed.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/07/cigarette-taxes-make-us-drink/259870/

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