Cigarette Taxes and Smoking During Pregnancy

Published in: American Journal of Public Health, v. 91, no. 11, Nov. 2001, p. 1851-1856

by Jeanne S. Ringel, William N. Evans

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to estimate how changes in state cigarette excise taxes affect the smoking behavior of pregnant women. METHODS: Detailed information about mothers and their pregnancy was used to examine the impact of taxes on the propensity of pregnant women to smoke. The 1989 to 1995 Natality Detail Files were used in conducting analyses to assess the impact of taxes on smoking among different subpopulations. RESULTS: Higher cigarette excise taxes reduced smoking rates among pregnant women. A tax hike of $0.55 per pack would reduce maternal smoking by about 22%. Overall, a 10% increase in price would reduce smoking rates by 7%. Estimates for subpopulations suggested that nearly all would be very responsive to tax changes, including the subpopulations with the highest smoking rates. CONCLUSIONS: Smoking rates among pregnant women are responsive to tax hikes.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.