Exploring the potential impact of state tobacco control policies on pregnant smokers, the study suggests that bumping cigarette prices by a dollar a pack can translate into a notable increase in the quit rate among pregnant women and new mothers.
“Basically, the thing we find most important is that these cigarette taxes can be used effectively to decrease smoking among pregnant women and women who just gave birth,” noted study co-author Sara Markowitz, an associate professor in the department of economics at Emory University in Atlanta.
“And it’s not at all surprising, because people respond to prices,” she added. “When things are expensive, they buy less of them, and when they’re cheap, they buy more.”
Markowitz’s team, alongside colleagues from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discuss their findings in the early online publication of the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The authors point out that nearly one-quarter of all pregnant women in the United States are smokers, with more than half refusing to quit during their pregnancy.