The researchers are the most adamant about the last point. “Most clinicians and researchers thought these very heavy smokers would be the most resistant to price increases,” says study author Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, PhD. “But our study points out that, in fact, change can occur. And that’s very good news.” In fact, in states where taxes on tobacco products rose by at least 35 percent, heavy smokers -- who averaged 40 cigarettes a day or more -- lowered their daily smoking by 14 cigarettes, on average. In real numbers, the price for a pack of cigarettes increased from an average of $3.96 in 2001 to $4.41 in 2004. (Read more)
In Kentucky last year, almost 30 percent of residents said they were smokers, the highest in the nation. The state also has the highest rates of diabetes and lung cancer, reports Jim Malewitz of Stateline News. Kentucky’s cigarette tax is also among the country's lowest.