WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- In the war on smoking, the silver bullet is all about money. A giant federal tobacco tax hike has spurred a historic drop in smoking. This number is particularly true for teenagers.
Our partners at USA Today report that about 3 million fewer people smoked last year than in 2009 despite a larger population. The tax lifted prices 22 percent. That hit families making less than $50,000 a year the hardest. They account for two-thirds of smokers.
Teen smoking immediately fell by up to 13 percent.
Other factors at work were health concerns, smoke-free buildings, marketing restrictions and higher prices from the tobacco companies.