Using a health informatics system to assess effect of a federal cigarette tax increase on readiness to quit among low-income smokers, Louisiana, 2009

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Preventing chronic disease


INTRODUCTION: Health informatics systems are a proven tool for tobacco control interventions. To address the needs of low-income groups, the Tobacco Control Initiative was established in partnership with the Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division to provide cost-effective tobacco use cessation services through the health informatics system in the state public hospital system. METHODS: In this study we used a Web-based, result-reporting application to monitor and assess the effect of the 2009 federal cigarette tax increase. We assessed readiness to quit tobacco use before and after a cigarette tax increase among low-income tobacco users who were outpatients in a public hospital system. RESULTS: Overall, there was an increase in readiness to quit, from 22% during the first week of February to 33% during the first week of April, when the tax went into effect. Smokers who were female, 31 or older, African American, and assessed at a clinic visit in April were more likely to report readiness to quit than were men, those aged 30 or younger, those who were white, and those who were assessed at a clinic visit in February. CONCLUSION: A health informatics system that efficiently tracks trends in readiness to quit can be used in combination with other strategies and thus optimize efforts to control tobacco use. Our data suggest that a cigarette tax increase affects smokers' readiness to quit and provides an opportunity to intervene at the most beneficial time.

First Page


PubMed ID