COMMIT Study: Tobacco Taxes and Workplace Smoking Bans Do Reduce Smoking

Environmental and policy influences on tobacco use

From 1994 to 1997, Health Research, Inc., Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., analyzed the information collected in the National Cancer Institute's Community Intervention Trial for Smoking Cessation (COMMIT) study.

The COMMIT study was conducted in 20 U.S. and two Canadian communities between 1988 and 1993 and involved 6,000 households per community, approximately 400 heavy and 400 light/moderate cigarette smokers ages 25 to 64, and more than 15,000 ninth grade students.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program Tobacco Policy Research and Evaluation Program.

Key Findings

Among the key findings were:

  • Both smoking participation and the intent to smoke were related to differences in cigarette prices.
  • 67 percent of adult smokers reported making at least one serious attempt to stop smoking between 1988 and 1993 and, of these, 33 percent were classified in 1993 as having quit smoking.
  • Employed adult smokers who worked in a smoke-free worksite were more than 25 percent more likely to make a serious quit attempt between 1988 and 1993, and more than 25 percent more likely to achieve cessation than those who were employed in a worksite that permitted smoking.
  • The average prevalence of nicotine patch use by smokers across the 20 US study communities was 12.8 percent, making the patch one of the most popular cessation methods used by smokers.
  • Among those who made an attempt to quit smoking, the likelihood of successful quitting was more than twice as high among patch users compared with non-users.