March 22, 2010 -
PAPER: Using Search Query Surveillance to Monitor Tax Avoidance and Smoking Cessation following the United States' 2009 “SCHIP” Cigarette Tax Increase, John W. Ayers1, Kurt Ribisl, John S. Brownstein, PLoS ONE 6(3): e16777. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016777, ABSTRACT/FULLTEXT>.
According to an analysis of Internet search data, the 2009 U.S. federal cigarette excise tax increase successfully drove many smokers online to find ways to quit smoking, but more often smokers responded by shopping online for tax-free or cheap cigarettes in an apparent effort to evade the tax hike.
The study is the first evaluation of smokers’ responses to the tax, which increased from $0.39 to $1.01 per pack under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, reforms. The findings are published in the March 16 edition of PLoS One.