Did Slowdown on Taxes and Program Impact California's Smoking Decline?
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Did Slowdown on Taxes and Program Impact California's Smoking Decline?

  • Author(s): Pierce, John P
  • Shi, Yuyan
  • Hendrickson, Erik
  • White, Martha
  • Noble, Madison
  • Kealey, Sheila
  • Strong, David
  • et al.

Objective: In this paper, we examine whether a slowdown in implementing tobacco control policies in California after 2000 influenced trends in smoking behavior. Methods: We assessed the strength of state tobacco control policies using excise tax data (1990-2014), tobacco control expenditures per capita, and workplace and home smoking restrictions (from the Tobacco Use Supplement of the Current Population Survey, 1992-2015). Smoking prevalence was assessed with the National Health Interview Survey, 1985-2015. We compared trends between California and the rest of the US using split regression models with a knot at 2000. Results: Throughout the 1990s, compared to the rest of the US, California had higher cigarette excise taxes, higher expenditures on tobacco control, more smoke-free workplaces, and more smokers with smoke-free homes. Except for smoke-free homes, these differences disappeared after 2000. During the 1990s, smoking prevalence declined much faster in California than in the rest of the US, but the decline slowed significantly after 2000. Conclusions: Smoking prevalence is sensitive to continued implementation of tobacco control policies.

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