Impact of cigarette taxes and price on infant mortality

March 1, 2016

Infant mortality rates can be affected by changes in cigarette taxes and prices.

Infant mortality rates can be affected by changes in cigarette taxes and prices. An analysis of the relationship between changes in cigarette taxes and prices over time and infant mortality rates found that higher cigarette taxes are strongly associated with decreases in infant mortality. Using data for all states from 1999 to 2010, researchers determined that for every dollar in increased taxes on cigarettes, infant deaths decreased by 0.19 per 1000 live births-a potential annual reduction of 750 US infant deaths, or an average of 2 averted infant deaths each day. This association was strongest among non-Hispanic African Americans (Patrick SW, et al. Pediatrics. 2016;137[1]:e20152901). 

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Ms Freedman is a freelance medical editor and writer in New Jersey. She has nothing to disclose in regard to affiliations with or financial interests in any organizations that may have an interest in any part of this article.