Class 11: Cigarette Tax
Read the editorial "Low taxes, high death rate for smokers" and the letter to the editor "Smoker statistics" from the Indianapolis Star.
- 1) What is an excise tax?
- 2) What does David Richards mean by "There appears to be a definite correlation between the high prevalence of smoking and ensuing deaths and those states with low excise taxes."? What would you like to plot or calculate to check his claim?
- 3) What do you think of David Richards' statement that "Lower prices simply stimulate the purchase and consumption of cigarettes."? How else could you explain a correlation between cigarette tax and rates of deaths related to smoking?
- 4) The editorial states that "about 30 percent of all high school students smoke at least once a month. In Indiana, 32.6 percent of high schoolers were reported to have smoked in the past month." Do you think these numbers represent a significant difference?
- 5) Who is right about the relationship between cigarette tax and smoking? Andrea Neal or James Hall?
- 6) Should the state of Indiana be concerned about smoking rates? Should it raise the excise tax?
We will look at the data provided by the Center for Diseases Control. In this data the first column is the state, the second column is the cigarette excise taxes--December 1, 1995 in cents/pac, the third column is the percentage who smoked cirgarettes among adults aged 18 and older determined from 1992-93 data and the fourth column is the deaths related to smoking in deaths fer 100,000 population taken from 1990 data.
Read the article on SAT scores available on Netscape from this assignment page and comment on it.