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Smoking in lower socioeconomic groups is more responsive to increases in price than smoking in higher economic groups.

Empirical studies demonstrate in high-income countries, those smokers who are less educated, have lower incomes, and belong to lower socioeconomic groups reduce smoking more in response to price increases than their counterparts in higher socioeconomic groups. Evidence of this effect in low- and middle-income countries is mixed. This increases the effectiveness of higher cigarette taxes as a cessation method for these vulnerable groups of population, and makes tobacco taxation, in the marginal sense, a progressive tax policy in high income countries.

A study from Australia found the negative association between real cigarette prices and prevalence was stronger among lower-income groups. A one Australian dollar increase in cigarette price was associated with a decline of 2.6%, 0.3%, and 0.2% in the prevalence of smoking among low-, medium-, and high-income groups, respectively. Women with low level of education are particularly responsive to price, in comparison with high-education women

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Levy DT, Mumford EA, Compton C. Tobacco control policies and smoking in a population of low education women, 1992-2002. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2006; 60(Suppl 2): 20-26.

Siahpush M, Wakefield MA, Spittal MJ, Durkin SJ, Scollo MM
. Taxation reduces social disparities in adult smoking prevalence. Am J Prev Med. 2009; 36(4): 285-291.

Chaloupka FJ, Straif K, Leon ME. Effectiveness of tax and price policies in tobacco control. Tobacco Control, 2011; 20(3): 235-238. logo
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