214501 Do changes in state cigarette prices impact current, binge, and heavy drinking?

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 2:50 PM - 3:10 PM

Deborah L. McLellan, MHS, MA , Heller School for Social Policy, Brandeis University, Jamaica Plain, MA
Raising prices on alcohol and tobacco products through taxation is a proven strategy to stem their respective use. As nearly 25% of the U.S. population uses alcohol and cigarettes concurrently, it is important to know whether increasing cigarette prices may impact alcohol use--a ‘cross-price effect.' This study examines the effects of changes in state cigarette prices on current, binge, and heavy drinking patterns among demographic groups.

Six years of cross sectional data are pooled from the 2001-2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys (BRFSS), a nationally representative household telephone survey conducted annually with random samples of adults 18 years of age and older. The pooled data yield 1,698,196 independent observations. The main binary dependent variables are current smoking, and current, binge, and heavy drinking. The main explanatory variable is average state cigarette price, and covariates include individual demographic variables, state tobacco and alcohol policies, and economic indicators. Multivariate logistic regressions are estimated that incorporate state fixed effects. Preliminary findings indicate that each $1 increase in cigarette price is associated with an 8% increase in the predicted odds of drinking in the past month (p<.05) and a 7% increase in heavy drinking (p<.1). For binge drinking there was no significant effect in preliminary analyses. Additional analyses will be reported by demographic groups.

Study findings will provide policy-makers with new knowledge about how potential unintended consequences of tobacco control policy may impact alcohol-related harm in different populations.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify whether changes in state cigarette prices impact current smoking, and current, binge, and heavy drinking. Explain whether responses to changes in state cigarette prices in drinking and smoking may vary by demographic group. List theoretical bases for the study.

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Tobacco Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: this abstract reflects the study I am conducting for my dissertation. I've also presented many times at professional conferences, including APHA.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.