UCL News


Irritant of the week

31 August 2005

Well-intentioned plans to help smokers to quit the evil weed are backfiring.

[Ms] Francesca Cornaglia [UCL Economics] tells the 'Times Higher Education Supplement': "When the cost of cigarettes is increased, people smoke fewer cigarettes, but they smoke each more deeply." Her finding sends up in smoke the idea that raising taxes can offset the healthcare costs of smoking because those who inhale more deeply are more susceptible to lung cancer. "Taxing cigarettes provides a larger income at state level, but we have to spend more because smokers are compensating by smoking more intensely. It actually has perverse effects," she says.

'The Times'