FreakEconomics of Smoking

I have not yet read the widely applauded Freakonomics, but its in my queu.

Here’s a decidely non-Freakonomics look at smoking. While many factors have contributed to a decline in U.S. smoking — new laws, employment and health insurance-related disincentives, educational initiatives and growing social pressure — the simple fact may be basic economic factors such as cost:

click for larger chart:


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  1. Juan commented on Jul 14

    but the increased cost is artificial… the govt taxes the heck out of them (and cig taxes= new laws). The new laws are passed because educational intiatives and growing social pressures have created a demand by the American ppl for our representatives to tax the heck out of cigarettes. It’s not as if you can isolate cost from these other factors. Each encourages the other.

  2. Bruce commented on Jul 14

    I notice that the price has been flat since 2002 but the decline in usage has continued.

  3. Jerome commented on Jul 14

    I would also argue you need more than two graphs whose scales have been chosen to imply direct correlation to prove a point such as this one.

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