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Reducing Tobacco Use Initiation: Increasing the Unit Price of Tobacco Products

(1999 Archived Review)

This is a summary of an archived systematic review and Community Preventive Services Task Force finding. Read a summary of the updated review and related Task Force finding.

These interventions increase the unit price for tobacco products through municipal, state, or federal legislation that raises the excise tax on these products. Such increases make the use of tobacco products less attractive to young people who have limited incomes and a variety of ways to spend their money.

Summary of Task Force Recommendations and Findings

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends interventions that increase the price of tobacco products based on strong evidence of their effectiveness in:

  • Reducing tobacco use among adolescents and adults
  • Reducing population consumption of tobacco products
  • Increasing tobacco use cessation

Task Force Finding

Results from the Systematic Review

Eight studies qualified for the review of this intervention.

  • Tobacco use prevalence among adolescents (13-18 years old): a median decrease of 3.7% in tobacco use for every 10% increase in product price (8 studies)
  • Tobacco consumption among adolescents: a median decrease of 2.3% in tobacco consumption for every 10% increase in product price (6 studies)
  • All of the included studies were conducted in the United States.
  • Five studies evaluated the effect of price on tobacco use for study periods that included the 1990s, and three studies reported the effect of price on tobacco use for periods before 1990.

These findings were based on a systematic review of all available studies, conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice and policy related to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure.

Supporting Materials


Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Tobacco. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 3.63 kB] In : Zaza S, Briss PA, Harris KW, eds. The Guide to Community Preventive Services: What Works to Promote Health? Atlanta (GA): Oxford University Press;2005:3-79.

Read other Community Guide publications about Reducing Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure in our library.


The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Reducing tobacco use initiation: increasing unit price of tobacco products (1999 archived review). Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.

Review completed: February 1999