A Harvard study finds the 20% decline in cigarette smoking over the past decade doesn't mean people are kicking the tobacco habit. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health say a third of those who stop smoking take up small cigars, snuff or chewing tobacco. Study author Gregory Connolly blames the lower tax rates on these other tobacco products as well as a lack of education about them.
"Given the attention we've given to cigarette smoking, we've really focused on the dangers; we may have neglected other areas of tobacco. But tobacco is tobacco is tobacco — it's going to kill you no matter what. And we need to get that message out to the public."
Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a tax increase on small cigars to better match the $1.51 tax per pack on cigarettes. To see the different tax rates for various tobacco products click here.
This program aired on June 10, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.