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Reactions to Cigarette Taxes and Related Messaging: Is the South Different?
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    Given the lag in tobacco control policies in the southeastern US, we examined differences in reactions to tobacco taxes and related messaging among Southeasterners vs. non-Southeasterners.


    In 2013, a cross-sectional online survey using quota-based sampling was conducted assessing tobacco use, attitudes/knowledge regarding tobacco taxation, and reactions to related messaging (health, youth prevention, economic impact, individual rights/responsibility, morality/religion, hospitality).


    Of 2501 participants, 36.7% were past 30-day smokers; 26.7% were Southeasterners. Compared to others, Southeasterners more likely believed that their state was in the bottom 20 states in tobacco taxes (p < .001) and less likely reported that their taxes were too high (p < .001). Regression analysis indicated that correlates of opposition to increased taxes included being older, having less education, being an infrequent church-attender, and being a current smoker (p's < .001); being a Southeasterner was not associated. Compared to others, Southeasterners were more likely to find pro-tobacco tax messages related to prevention and hospitality as more persuasive (p < .05) and anti-tobacco tax messaging related to the unfairness of tobacco taxes to smokers (p = .050) less persuasive.


    Given that Southeasterners are receptive to increased taxation, other factors must contribute to lagging policy and must be addressed.

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