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Am J Health Behav. 2015 Sep;39(5):721-31. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.39.5.13.

Reactions to Cigarette Taxes and Related Messaging: Is the South Different?

Author information

1
Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA, USA. cjberg@emory.edu.
2
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
3
Department of Health Promotion, Education & Behavior, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC, USA.
4
Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA, USA.
5
Georgia Department of Public Health, Office of Applied Public Health, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Given the lag in tobacco control policies in the southeastern US, we examined differences in reactions to tobacco taxes and related messaging among Southeasterners vs. non-Southeasterners.

METHODS:

In 2013, a cross-sectional online survey using quota-based sampling was conducted assessing tobacco use, attitudes/knowledge regarding tobacco taxation, and reactions to related messaging (health, youth prevention, economic impact, individual rights/responsibility, morality/religion, hospitality).

RESULTS:

Of 2501 participants, 36.7% were past 30-day smokers; 26.7% were Southeasterners. Compared to others, Southeasterners more likely believed that their state was in the bottom 20 states in tobacco taxes (p < .001) and less likely reported that their taxes were too high (p < .001). Regression analysis indicated that correlates of opposition to increased taxes included being older, having less education, being an infrequent church-attender, and being a current smoker (p's < .001); being a Southeasterner was not associated. Compared to others, Southeasterners were more likely to find pro-tobacco tax messages related to prevention and hospitality as more persuasive (p < .05) and anti-tobacco tax messaging related to the unfairness of tobacco taxes to smokers (p = .050) less persuasive.

CONCLUSIONS:

Given that Southeasterners are receptive to increased taxation, other factors must contribute to lagging policy and must be addressed.

PMID:
26248181
PMCID:
PMC4530464
DOI:
10.5993/AJHB.39.5.13
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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