Many economists and public plicy researchers have found that cigarette taxes reduce smoking. This means that cigarette taxes must be good for your health…right?
A study by Baum (2009) claims that cigarette taxes may improve health, but not by as much as previously thought. The paper finds that increasing the cigarette tax decreases smoking, but decreased smoking–an appetite suprressant–increases obesity. Thus Baum finds that the health benefits of cigarette taxes may be overstated.
Disclaimer: Baum does state that “this research in no way concludes that [cigarette taxes] should be decreased to prompt weight loss.”
- Baum, Charles (2009) “The effects of cigarette costs on BMI and obesity,” Health Economics, Volume 18 Issue 1, Pages 3 – 19.