Anti-smoking policies may reduce drinking, too


Rising cigarette prices and indoor smoking restrictions tend to lead to a drop in the consumption of beer and spirits - but not in wine.
iStock

Drinking and smoking are old partners. So perhaps it's not surprising that US research has found that anti-smoking policies and higher cigarette taxes may reduce alcohol consumption.

A new study has found that rising cigarette prices and indoor smoking restrictions tend to lead to a drop in the consumption of beer and spirits - but not in wine.

The results will be published online in the October issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and can be seen here.

The Washington University School of Medicine study analysed per capita alcohol consumption from 1980 to 2009 and smoke-free air policies. It found smokers were more likely than non-smokers to drink alcohol and heavy smokers were more likely to be heavy drinkers. Drinking rates fell as cigarettes became more costly.

The study's results suggest, for example, that a 20% hike in cigarette prices would lead to a 2% fall in alcohol consumption.

But as for wine, co-author Melanie Krauss, a statistician, said: "People who prefer wine are not only less likely to smoke but are also more likely to have other healthier lifestyle habits."

  1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1530-0277/earlyview
Latest Stories
MoreMore Articles