When Cigarette Prices Go Up, Booze Sales Go Down...Except Wine

It's the Don Draper fantasy: a cigarette in one hand, and a glass of whiskey in the other. Despite warnings against the health problems associated with both drinking and smoking, the truth is that cigarettes and booze go hand in hand, at least in America. And now there's research to back up that notion. A recent study in the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, shows that when cigarette prices climb, the sale of alcohol go down. But the researchers did note that the tie between the two vices only exists with beer and spirits. Wine drinkers are not less likely to indulge in their favorite libation because of cigarette prices.

"We already know that strengthening tobacco policies has great benefit in reducing smoking prevalence," says Melissa Krauss, a researcher in the study. "This shows that there are unintended consequences that are having good public health benefits as well."

Back in 1980, a pack of cigarettes cost $1.76 on average, and compared with an average cost of $5.68 in 2009. Even adjusted for inflation, this is a huge difference. States that have shown the highest increase in prices per pack also saw the biggest drop in alcohol consumption over the years, though, so it looks like Krauss was right.

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi