Over the past couple of years, health authorities from all around the world have begun enforcing new anti-smoking policy due to the ever increasing levels of young smokers. According to a new study, smokers react more to tobacco ban than to higher tobacco taxes.
The study in question has been performed by a joint team of scientists, hailing from Ohio State University and Purdue University. The team wanted to assess how anti-tobacco policies impact casual smokers and heavy smokers.
Typically, the Government uses two anti-smoking strategies in order to reduce the number of smokers and to discourage smoking at a young age. The higher taxes strategy has been known to yield some results in past, but it would seem that although this policy can potentially discourage heavy smokers, it bears little to no impact on casual smokers.
Mike Vuolo, the lead author of the study and senior researcher, declared that this is a marvelous opportunity to study how certain state policies are capable of impacting the total number of smokers and the smoking rate.
To see if indeed the two policies can make a difference, the research team has conducted several interviews over the past 7 years. From 2004 to 2011, the team managed to question 4341 people about their smoking habits and assess their reaction to the various tobacco control policies.
According to their report, 21 percent of the interviewed candidates would rather give up smoking if their hometown was to put a ban on tobacco products. On the other hand, in terms of smoking policies, the study has determined that higher tobacco taxes did not impact the casual smoker category.
Moreover, even with higher tobacco taxes, heavy smokers carried on with their smoking habits, with no concern whatsoever about their financial situation.
When asked about the most effective means to reduce smoking rates, the same scientists answered that both of the two policies have proven to be yield fantastic results. He also added that by promoting this kind of policies the Government might indeed discourage young smokers.
Now, in terms of enforcing the anti-smoking laws, there are a couple of examples out there which we should take into account. For example, Australia has taken the measure of banning smoking in enclosed spaces. Moreover, according to the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act, signed in 2011, tobacco advertising is strictly forbidden, and all companies must pack their cigarettes in plain packages with no logos.
Furthermore, these packages must all contain health warning labels. Also, upping the smoking age restriction has shown some results especially in discouraging young smokers.