News and Highlights

June 2014

Smokers Find Ways to Pay Less for Cigarettes
Michael Pesko, PhD Michael Pesko, PhD, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research and the Walsh McDermott Scholar, is the lead author of “Per-pack price reductions available from different cigarette purchasing strategies: United States, 2009-2010,” published in the June 2014 issue of Preventive Medicine. This study examined five strategies smokers use to minimize cigarette prices: 1) purchasing discount brand cigarettes, 2) using price promotions, 3) purchasing cartons, 4) purchasing on Indian reservations, and 5) purchasing online. They found that each strategy reduced the price of a pack of cigarettes between 26 and 99 cents, and that combined price reductions were possible. Prohibiting industry coupons and promotions, setting a floor price for cigarettes, and expanding state-level negotiations with Indian reservations on the collection of state excise taxes are policy options to close opportunities for smokers to price minimize rather than quit or reduce smoking.


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