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Cigarette taxes and older adult smoking: Evidence from recent large tax increases

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  • DeCicca, Philip
  • McLeod, Logan

Abstract

While recent evidence casts some doubt, it is generally accepted that the price sensitivity of smoking varies inversely with age. We investigate the responsiveness of older adult smoking using variation from recent historically large cigarette tax increases in the United States. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2000 to 2005, we find consistent evidence that higher taxes reduced smoking participation by older adults, especially those who are less educated and live in low-income households. Our findings run contrary to existing evidence which suggests that cessation behavior by older adults is not sensitive to price. Since a large literature suggests smoking cessation even later in life reduces morbidity and increases longevity, our findings may represent substantial gains in health among tax-induced quitters.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 918-929

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:4:p:918-929

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

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  1. 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.
  2. Justin G. Trogdon & Frank A. Sloan, 2006. "Cigarette Taxes and the Master Settlement Agreement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(4), pages 729-739, October.
  3. William N. Evans & Matthew C. Farrelly & Edward Montgomery, 1996. "Do Workplace Smoking Bans Reduce Smoking?," NBER Working Papers 5567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eugene M. Lewit & Douglas Coate, 1983. "The Potential for Using Excise Taxes to Reduce Smoking," NBER Working Papers 0764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gruber, Jonathan & Koszegi, Botond, 2004. "Tax incidence when individuals are time-inconsistent: the case of cigarette excise taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1959-1987, August.
  6. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Healthy Living in Hard Times," IZA Discussion Papers 711, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Wechsler, 1995. "Price, Tobacco Control Policies and Smoking Among Young Adults," NBER Working Papers 5012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Adda, Jérôme & Cornaglia, Francesca, 2005. "Taxes, Cigarette Consumption and Smoking Intensity," IZA Discussion Papers 1849, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Frank A. Sloan & Jan Ostermann & Christopher Conover & Donald H. Taylor, Jr. & Gabriel Picone, 2006. "The Price of Smoking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262693453.
  10. Smith, V. Kerry & Taylor, Donald H., Jr. & Sloan, Frank A. & Johnson, F. Reed & Desvousges, William H., 2000. "Do Smokers Respond to Health Shocks?," Working Papers 00-08, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  11. John A. Tauras, 2006. "Smoke-Free Air Laws, Cigarette Prices, and Adult Cigarette Demand," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(2), pages 333-342, April.
  12. Gruber, Jonathan & Frakes, Michael, 2006. "Does falling smoking lead to rising obesity?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 183-197, March.
  13. Wasserman, Jeffrey & Manning, Willard G. & Newhouse, Joseph P. & Winkler, John D., 1991. "The effects of excise taxes and regulations on cigarette smoking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 43-64, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Adel Bosch & Steven F. Koch, 2014. "Using a Natural Experiment to Examine Tobacco Tax Regressivity," Working Papers 201424, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  2. Zagorsky, Jay L. & Smith, Patricia K., 2009. "Does the U.S. Food Stamp Program contribute to adult weight gain?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 246-258, July.
  3. Line Bretteville-Jensen, Anne & Biørn, Erik & Selmer, Randi, 2011. "Quitting behaviour of cigarette smokers. Are there direct effects of a screening program?," Memorandum 07/2011, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  4. Jan Marcus, 2012. "Does Job Loss Make You Smoke and Gain Weight?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 432, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Kevin Callison & Robert Kaestner, 2012. "Do Higher Tobacco Taxes Reduce Adult Smoking? New Evidence of the Effect of Recent Cigarette Tax Increases on Adult Smoking," NBER Working Papers 18326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Sara Markowitz & E. Kathleen Adams & Patricia M. Dietz & Viji Kannan & Van Tong, 2011. "Smoking Policies and Birth Outcomes: Estimates From a New Era," NBER Working Papers 17160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David Simon, 2013. "Does Early Life Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Permanently Harm Childhood Health? Evidence from Cigarette Tax Hikes," Working papers 2013-21, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

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