Higher US taxes on cigarettes lowers infant mortality rates as a result of the increase in prices, also deterring pregnant mothers from smoking tobacco, study reveals. < Go Back

Experts have revealed that in the US higher taxes on cigarettes lowers infant mortality rates as a result of the increase in prices, which subsequently deters pregnant mothers from smoking tobacco.

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The recent report found that for every $1 (66p) tax increase to the price of a packet of cigarettes, it prevents two infant deaths every day.

In addition, scientists assessed that infant mortality rates fall by as much as 3.2% annually, as a result, which is comparable to 750 fewer babies unnecessarily dying each year.

With a reduction in people smoking comes a lesser exposure rate to tobacco for babies – particularly for those who would otherwise be exposed during pregnancy.

The University of Michigan teamed up with experts to conduct the study as a means of an aid to show policymakers, physicians, and public health officials just how advantageous the increased cigarette tax increases have on the health of infants.

Smoking tobacco has long been known as the number one cause of preventable death, disease and disability in the Northern America.

Therefore, greater cigarette taxes lead to lower rates of smoking during pregnancy as well as advances in positive birth outcomes.

But before now, no US study had investigated the impact that higher smoking rates have on infant mortality rates.

The experts collated public data from a 12-year period, from 1999 to 2010, to see if there was any association between cigarette tax and price increases, and infant mortality rates.

They also used data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) system, in addition to a multi-year survey from retailers regarding cigarette taxes and prices.

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