The Impact of the 2009 Federal Tobacco Excise Tax Increase on Youth Tobacco Use

The Impact of the 2009 Federal Tobacco Excise Tax Increase on Youth Tobacco Use

A significant increase in the federal tobacco excise tax implemented in 2009 was effective in reducing tobacco use among teens, a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds. Based on a survey of eighth-, tenth-, and twelfth-graders, the report, The Impact of the 2009 Federal Tobacco Excise Tax Increase on Youth Tobacco Use (34 pages, PDF), found that the percentage of young people who said they had smoked a cigarette in the past thirty days fell by as much as 13.3 percent after the tax increase went into effect, while the percentage using smokeless tobacco products fell anywhere between 16 percent and 24 percent. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the report suggests that the significant short-term impact on tobacco use among youth may be due in part to the magnitude of the tax increase, which resulted in a 22 percent price hike for cigarettes and a 12 percent hike for other tobacco products. The study also found that boys were more sensitive to price increases than girls.