Question of the Day: Day One

Teenage smoking and the role of government in reducing or preventing teenage smoking is frequently discussed and debated. Using models of demand and supply, it is possible to both determine whether cigarette purchases (and presumably smoking) are reduced and by how much. With this in mind, please consider statement #1 and identify whether that statement is normative or positive and then explain why. Do the same for statement #2, then #3, etc.

1) Government should raise cigarette taxes, and subsequently increase the cost of purchasing cigarettes, in order to take a more active role in reducing teenage smoking.

2) Raising cigarette taxes has a greater effect on reducing teenage smoking than increased spending on anti-smoking advertising.

3) It is more appropriate for government, rather than parents, to be active in encouraging teenagers to avoid or quit smoking.

4) A large increase in cigarette taxes will cause only small declines in cigarette sales over the first year (after the tax is raised), but much larger decreases after five years.