Tobacco control policy actions such as increases in tobacco taxes and smoke-free policies have led to a decrease in smoking among older people in European countries, finds a new study.
Increases in tobacco taxes and smoke-free policies in European countries were significantly related with a reduction in smoking among older adults, according to a new Addiction study.
‘Among tobacco control policies, we found tax increases and smoke-free policies were particularly associated with a reduction in smoking among the lower educated adults older than 50 years.’
For the study, investigators examined data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) on adults aged 50 years and older in four waves from 2004 to 2013 from 10 countries.
A negative association between tobacco control policies and smoking was observed especially among those between 50 and 65 years old, and among those with lower levels of education. By contrast, no relationship was found among those older than 65 years and among those with high education. Furthermore, the association was not found to be different between men and women.
“Among tobacco control policies, we found tax increases and smoke-free policies particularly associated with a reduction in smoking among the lower educated adults older than 50 years, suggesting that these policies could potentially reduce socioeconomic inequalities in smoking,” said lead author Dr. Manuel Serrano-Alarcón, of NOVA University of Lisbon, in Portugal.