Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
To determine the impact of cigarette prices on the decision to initiate and quit smoking by taking into account the interdependence of smoking and other behavioral risk factors.
The study population consisted of 3,000 male Koreans aged > or =20. A survey by telephone interview was undertaken to collect information on cigarette price, smoking and other behavioral risk factors. A two-part model was used to examine separately the effect of price on the decision to be a smoker, and on the amount of cigarettes smoked.
The overall price elasticity of cigarettes was estimated at -0.66, with a price elasticity of -0.02 for smoking participation and -0.64 for the amount of cigarettes consumed by smokers. The inclusion of other behavioral risk factors reduced the estimated price elasticity for smoking participation substantially, but had no effect on the conditional price elasticity for the quantity of cigarettes smoked.
From the public health and financial perspectives, an increase in cigarette price would significantly reduce smoking prevalence as well as cigarette consumption by smokers in Korea.