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The effects of cigarette costs on BMI and obesity

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Author Info

  • Charles L. Baum

    (Economics Graduate Program, Economics and Finance Department, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, USA)

Abstract

About 30% of Americans are currently obese, which is roughly a 100% increase from 25 years ago. Public health officials have consequently become alarmed because recent research indicates that societal costs of obesity now exceed those of cigarette smoking and alcoholism. Cigarette taxes may have exacerbated the prevalence of obesity. In 1964, the US Surgeon General issued its first report relating smoking and health, and since that time, federal and state governments have increased cigarette taxes in a successful effort to reduce cigarette smoking. However, because cigarette smoking and obesity seem inversely related, cigarette taxes may have simultaneously increased obesity. This paper examines the effects of cigarette costs on BMI and obesity and finds that they have significant positive effects. This paper attempts to reconcile conflicting evidence in the literature by controlling more carefully for correlation with state-specific time trends using panel data. Results indicate that the net benefit to society of increasing cigarette taxes may not be as large as previously thought, though this research in no way concludes that they should be decreased to prompt weight loss. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1340
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 3-19

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:1:p:3-19

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. George Wehby & Charles J. Courtemanche, 2012. "The Heterogeneity of the Cigarette Price Effect on Body Mass Index," NBER Working Papers 18087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Courtemanche, Charles & Pinkston, Joshua C. & Stewart, Jay, 2014. "Adjusting Body Mass for Measurement Error with Invalid Validation Data," IZA Discussion Papers 8009, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Courtemanche, Charles & McAlvanah, Patrick & Heutel, Garth, 2011. "Impatience, Incentives, and Obesity," Working Papers 11-9, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics, revised 28 Sep 2011.
  4. Federico A.Todeschini & José María Labeaga & Sergi Jiménez Martín, 2010. "Killing by lung cancer or by diabetes? The trade-off between smoking and obesity," Working Papers 2010-16, FEDEA.
  5. Pieroni, Luca & Salmasi, Luca, 2012. "Does cigarette smoking affect body weight? causal estimates from the clean indoor air law discontinuity," MPRA Paper 38338, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Pieroni, Luca & Salmasi, Luca, 2012. "Smoking habit changes and body weight: causal estimates from the British Household Panel Survey," MPRA Paper 43465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. repec:ese:iserwp:2010-41 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Deuchert, Eva & Cabus, Sofie J. & Tafreschi, Darjusch, 2012. "A Short Note on Economic Development and Socioeconomic Inequality in Female Body Weight," Economics Working Paper Series 1204, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  9. Fang, Hai & Ali, Mir M. & Rizzo, John A., 2009. "Does smoking affect body weight and obesity in China?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 334-350, December.
  10. Aliaksandr Amialchuk & Kateryna Bornukova & Mir M. Ali, 2012. "Smoking and Obesity Revisited: Evidence from Belarus," BEROC Working Paper Series 19, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC).
  11. Davide, Dragone & Francesco, Manaresi & Luca, Savorelli, 2013. "Obesity and smoking: can we catch two birds with one tax?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-31, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  12. Courtemanche, Charles, 2009. "Rising cigarette prices and rising obesity: Coincidence or unintended consequence?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 781-798, July.
  13. Pieroni, Luca & Salmasi, Luca, 2010. "Body weight and socio-economic determinants: quantile estimations from the British Household Panel Survey," MPRA Paper 26434, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Jason Fletcher & David Frisvold & Nathan Tefft, 2009. "The Effects of Soft Drink Taxes on Child and Adolescent Consumption and Weight Outcomes," Emory Economics 0908, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  15. Wehby, George L. & Murray, Jeffrey C. & Wilcox, Allen & Lie, Rolv T., 2012. "Smoking and body weight: Evidence using genetic instruments," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 113-126.
  16. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John & Schmeiser, Maximilian D., 2009. "The timing of the rise in U.S. obesity varies with measure of fatness," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 307-318, December.

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