Background Tobacco policies, including clean indoor air laws and cigarette taxes, increase smoking cessation in part by stimulating the use of cessation treatments. We explored whether the associations between tobacco policies and treatment use varies across sociodemographic groups. Methods We used data from 62,165 U.S. adult participants in the 2003 and 2010/11 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS) who reported smoking cigarettes during the past-year. We built on prior structural equation models used to quantify the degree to which smoking cessation treatment use (prescription medications, nicotine replacement therapy, counseling/support groups, quitlines, and internet resources) mediated the association between clean indoor air laws, cigarette excise taxes, and recent smoking cessation. In the current study, we added selected moderators to each model to investigate whether associations between tobacco polices and smoking cessation treatment use varied by sex, race/ethnicity, education, income, and health insurance status. Results Associations between clean indoor air laws and the use of prescription medication and nicotine replacement therapies varied significantly between racial/ethnic, age, and education groups in 2003. However, none of these moderation effects remained significant in 2010/11. Higher cigarette excise taxes in 2010/2011 were associated with higher odds of using counseling among older adults and higher odds of using prescription medications among younger adults. No other moderator reached statistical significance. Smoking cessation treatments did not mediate the effect of taxes on smoking cessation in 2003 and were not included in these analyses. Conclusions Sociodemographic differences in associations between clean indoor air laws and smoking cessation treatment use have decreased from 2003 to 2010/11. In most cases, policies appear to stimulate smoking cessation treatment use similarly across varied sociodemographic groups.
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