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Federal Cigarette Tax Increase and Current Economy Will Change Smoker's Habits
Date:3/31/2009

PARSIPPANY, N.J., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 1, the federal cigarette tax will increase by 62 cents to a total of $1.01 per pack, to fund the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program that was signed into law earlier this year.(1) A new survey shows that the April 1st federal price increase on cigarettes and the current economy are big concerns for smokers and will change their current smoking habits.(2)

The survey, commissioned by the marketers of Nicorette, showed 70 percent of smokers say that the current price of cigarettes is already very expensive and is one of their main concerns about smoking, second only to health concerns.(2) For survey respondents over 45 years old, the price of cigarettes was the most cited concern.(2) Further, 56 percent of smokers say the April 1st price increase will prompt them to smoke fewer cigarettes and 72 percent say the price increase on cigarettes would increase their intention to quit.(2)

Smokers also say the current economy is a big concern and it will prompt them to change their smoking habits.(2) Forty-seven percent of smokers say they would cut back on cigarettes because of the economy.(2)

"Research shows that smokers are more likely to try to quit when the price of cigarettes goes up," said Dr. Frank Chaloupka, professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago and affiliate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. "Given the recent tax hike and the state of the economy, now would be a great time for smokers to re-evaluate how smoking affects their finances and calculate how much they could save by quitting. A typical pack-a-day smoker could be spending approximately $2,000 each year on cigarettes, but no matter how expensive it is to smoke, quitting smoking is a big challenge."

Almost half of smokers currently quitting, or more likely to quit smoking, noted in the survey that they do not plan
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SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
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