The impact of a federal cigarette minimum pack price policy on cigarette use in the USA.

Doogan NJ, Wewers ME, Berman M
Tob Control 27 203-208 01/01/2018


BACKGROUND: Increasing cigarette prices reduce cigarette use. The US Food and Drug Administration has the authority to regulate the sale and promotion-and therefore the price-of tobacco products.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the potential effect of federal minimum price regulation on the sales of cigarettes in the USA.

METHOD: We used yearly state-level data from the Tax Burden on Tobacco and other sources to model per capita cigarette sales as a function of price. We used the fitted model to compare the status quo sales with counterfactual scenarios in which a federal minimum price was set. The minimum price scenarios ranged from $0 to $12.

RESULTS: The estimated price effect in our model was comparable with that found in the literature. Our counterfactual analyses suggested that the impact of a minimum price requirement could range from a minimal effect at the $4 level to a reduction of 5.7 billion packs sold per year and 10 million smokers at the $10 level.

CONCLUSION: A federal minimum price policy has the potential to greatly benefit tobacco control and public health by uniformly increasing the price of cigarettes and by eliminating many price-reducing strategies currently available to both sellers and consumers.

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