The Impact of Tax and Smoke-Free Air Policy Changes

This report summarizes the progress made over the past two decades in raising cigarette and other tobacco product excise taxes and in adopting and strengthening policies that limit smoking in public places and private worksites. The evolution of these policies is discussed and the evidence of their effectiveness in reducing tobacco use is reviewed.

Using this information, the researchers used the SimSmoke tobacco-control policy simulation model to estimate the impact of changes in tobacco-control policy, especially taxation and smoke-free air policies, on the number of persons who smoke and on premature deaths caused by smoking.
They estimate the impact of these policy changes on the number of individuals who smoked in 2010 and the cumulative number of premature deaths avoided by smoking policies put in place between 1993 and 2010. They find that the impact of these policy changes is substantial.

They also estimate the impact of these policies in 2063, given that they will deter many young people from taking up smoking in future years, and given the lags between smoking initiation and the onset of smoking-related diseases. They find that the longer-term impact of these policy changes will be enormous.