When France increased the price of cigarettes by 66% over an eight-year period, the smoking rate among French executives and professionals declined. However, the smoking rate among manual laborers remained about the same and among the unemployed, it increased.

“It’s All We Got Left”. Why Poor Smokers are Less Sensitive to Cigarette Price Increases

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Abstract

In France, between 2000 and 2008, concurrently to the increase in cigarette price, we observed an increasing social differentiation of cigarette smoking: smoking prevalence decreased among executive managers and professional occupations, it remained stable among manual workers, and it increased among the unemployed. Poor smokers were heavier smokers, they were more frequently tobacco-dependent, and they were more prone to smoke automatically or to reduce “negative feelings”. In-depth interviews provided a more comprehensive insight into poor smokers’ motivations: they were aware of their addiction, but they also talked about the pleasure they get from smoking, and they highlighted the essential needs satisfied by smo… Continue Reading (7 minute read)

14 thoughts on “When France increased the price of cigarettes by 66% over an eight-year period, the smoking rate among French executives and professionals declined. However, the smoking rate among manual laborers remained about the same and among the unemployed, it increased.”

  1. JimmiRustle

    Any idea why? Was there any causative effect or was it purely correlated?

  2. Taneatua

    Interestingly enough, when New Zealand put their prices up over 400% it lead to a whole 1% decline in smoking.
    Education in contrast had a far, far higher drop in smoking rates.

  3. Ice_Burn

    I wonder what, if anything, it did to curb youth smoking rates.

  4. rickydingo

    ngl I’ve never smoke or drank more than during the periods of time where I could barely afford it. Basically just reaching for any way to diminish the stress quickly

  5. cruedi

    Taxing things like cigarettes is a way to get money the poor. It’s similar to the lottery. Sucks but it’s the way it is.

  6. cantbeproductive

    In other words, the decline in professionals (who can pay for cigarettes) had nothing to do with the tax and instead was the same rate of decline seen in similar European nations.

  7. AlterEdward

    There’s an effect of being poor that doesn’t really get talked about, and I don’t know if it has a name. I first recognised this effect when I’d gone to a pub with some friends with 50p in my pocket. Clearly I can’t afford to buy a drink with that money. So I put it in a slot machine.

    Was I an idiot for gambling whilst poor? No. The money I had was worthless. Substitute a drink with “your bills” and it might go some way to helping you understand why poor people buy seemingly expensive things. Not buying that pack of cigarettes, and saving €8 isn’t going to pay your €100 energy bill. When the amount of money you have is greater than what you owe, then you can start to evaluate where it’s going. Otherwise, what’s the point in saving say €100 a month on cigarettes when you’re already $600 short on bills?

  8. damanpwnsyou

    Where I live weed is cheaper than tobacco. I know a bunch of people who kicked thier tobacco addiction by switching to weed and slowly quitting since it’s much eaiser to stop smoking weed than cigarettes.

  9. Shionkron

    As an ex-smoker who quite 10 years ago I can see the logic of the Laborers and unemployed. “Oh no, no I am even more broke with these price imcreases…gahhhhh..too stressfull…I need a smoke”! Hahaha

  10. vbp0001

    I guess that is 1 way to tax the poor.

  11. OmgLikeForSureDude

    It’s a poor tax

  12. CodePandorumxGod

    Huh, so the more your life sucks, the more likely you are to smoke…

  13. DeNir8

    I bet the ammount of smuggled tobacco increased aswell. The sales dropped.. *but*..

  14. manguito86

    In my company it is the same. 0 White collar employees smoke and all of the blue collar smoke except one.
    In my previous company was like 90% for the white collar and only like 60% of the blue collar that didn’t smoke.

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