In a study conducted between 2003–2015, researchers at the University of California-Riverside, Georgetown University and the University of Michigan, among others, examined how increases in cigarette taxes and prices impacted smoking rates.
The study found that, for all age groups surveyed, the smoking rate decreases as cigarette prices increase. The study found that education level and income predict greater sensitivity to prices. Among young people (age 18-24), tobacco use decreased more significantly as the price of cigarette taxes increased. However, the tie was not statistically significant for all age groups.
Researchers hypothesize that the limited impact of taxes on smoking behavior could be a result of price discounts or coupons that offset those tax increases in some areas. The study suggests that provisions to limit price reductions and discounts will help keep prices high and increase the probability that people will reduce smoking behavior as a result.