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Lighting up and slimming down: the effects of body weight and cigarette prices on adolescent smoking initiation

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  • Cawley, John
  • Markowitz, Sara
  • Tauras, John

Abstract

This paper examines the influence of body weight, body image, and cigarette prices in determining adolescent smoking initiation. Adolescents who desire to lose weight may initiate smoking as a method of appetite control. Such behavior may undermine the goals of tobacco control policies that seek to prevent smoking initiation. Using a nationally representative panel of adolescents, we show that smoking initiation is more likely among females who are overweight, who report trying to lose weight, or who describe themselves as overweight. In contrast, neither objective nor subjective measures of weight predict smoking initiation by males. Higher cigarette prices decrease the probability of smoking initiation among males but have no impact on female smoking initiation. These gender-specific differences may help explain the mixed and inconclusive evidence of the impact of price on smoking initiation found in previous literature

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 293-311

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:23:y:2004:i:2:p:293-311

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Douglas, Stratford & Hariharan, Govind, 1994. "The hazard of starting smoking: Estimates from a split population duration model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 213-230, July.
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  5. Martin Forster & Andrew M. Jones, . "The role of tobacco taxes in starting and quitting smoking," Discussion Papers 00/51, Department of Economics, University of York.
  6. Decicca, P. & Kenkel, D. & Mathios, A., 2000. "Putting Out the Fires: Will Higher Taxes Reduce Youth Smoking," Papers 00-3, Aarhus School of Business - Department of Economics.
  7. John A. Tauras & Patrick M. O'Malley & Lloyd D. Johnston, 2001. "Effects of Price and Access Laws on Teenage Smoking Initiation: A National Longitudinal Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Douglas, Stratford, 1998. "The Duration of the Smoking Habit," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 49-64, January.
  10. Wu, De-Min, 1973. "Alternative Tests of Independence Between Stochastic Regressors and Disturbances," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 733-50, July.
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  12. Philip DeCicca & Donald Kenkel & Alan Mathios, 2002. "Putting Out the Fires: Will Higher Taxes Reduce the Onset of Youth Smoking?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 144-169, February.
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