New research from Drs. Jidong Huang and Frank Chaloupka of the University of Illinois at Chicago was published online this week in the journal Tobacco Control. Dr. Huang is a Research Specialist at the Health Policy Center, Dr. Chaloupka is a Professor of Economics and Director of ImpacTeen, a policy research partnership to reduce youth substance use. Together, Drs. Huang and Chaloupka investigated the link between convenience store density (a proxy for ‘business success’), cigarette excise tax rates and Smoke Free Air (SFA) policy indices in all 50 states and Washington, DC from the years 1997 to 2009. Contrary to claims made by the tobacco industry, results indicate that higher cigarette taxes and stronger SFA policies do NOT negatively affect convenience stores. In short: when tax increases and strict air laws reduce cigarette consumption, the money that was spent on cigarettes is redirected toward other goods and convenience store profits remain steady. These results offer new evidence to policy makers on the economic benefits of tobacco control efforts. Further, the results warn opponents that fear-based economic concerns are not valid. Read the abstract here.