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Am J Public Health. 2006 Aug;96(8):1359-63. Epub 2006 Jun 29.

Effect of increased social unacceptability of cigarette smoking on reduction in cigarette consumption.

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Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Taxes on cigarettes have long been used to help reduce cigarette consumption. Social factors also affect cigarette consumption, but this impact has not been quantified. We computed a social unacceptability index based on individuals' responses to questions regarding locations where smoking should be allowed. A regression analysis showed that the social unacceptability index and price had similar elasticities and that their effects were independent of each other. If, through an active tobacco control campaign, the average individual's views on the social unacceptability of smoking changed to more closely resemble the views of California residents, there would be a 15% drop in cigarette consumption, equivalent to a 1.17 dollars increase in the excise tax on cigarettes.

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