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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

CUNY Faculty Study Tobacco Cessation in the United States

Drs. Alexis Pozen, Marianne Fahs and William T. Gallo, all professors at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and colleagues estimated the impact of tobacco cessation on household spending on non-tobacco goods in the USA. The findings were published in the journal Tobacco Control.

[Photos left to right: Drs. Marianne Fahs, William T. Gallo, and Alexis Pozen]

The research team used the 2006-2015 Consumer Expenditure Survey data, to study 9,130 tobacco-consuming households that were followed for four quarters. Households were categorized during the fourth quarter as having: (1) recent tobacco cessation, (2) long-term cessation, (3) relapsed cessation or (4) no cessation. The team used generalized linear models to compare fourth quarter expenditures on alcohol, food at home, food away from home, housing, healthcare, transportation, entertainment and other goods between the no-cessation households and those with recent, long-term or relapsed cessation. They analyzed the full sample, and then analyzed the data by income quartile.

In the full sample, households with long-term and recent cessation had significantly lower spending on alcohol, food, entertainment and transportation. Recent cessation was further associated with reduced spending on food at home, whereas relapsed cessation was associated with higher spending on healthcare and food away from home. In the highest income quartile, long-term and recent cessations were associated with reduced alcohol spending only, whereas in the lowest income quartile, long-term and recent cessations were associated with lower spending on alcohol, food at home, transportation and entertainment.

The authors concluded that households that quit tobacco spend less in areas that enable or complement their tobacco cessation, most of which may be motivated by financial strain. The most robust association between tobacco cessation and spending was the significantly lower spending on alcohol.