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A microeconometric analysis of smoking in the UK health and lifestyle survey


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  • Andrew M Jones


This paper provides an overview of microeconometric evidence on various aspects of smoking using data from the UK Health and Lifestyle Survey (HALS). In doing so it illustrates how the choice of an appropriate statistical model is influenced by the survey design and the definition and measurement of variables. The HALS is a rich source of information on cigarette smoking which provides data on all aspects of the “life-cycle” of a smoker. Results are reported for parametric survival analysis of the age of starting and the number of years of smoking; univariate and bivariate probit models suggest that addiction, proxied by previous peak consumption, does not affect the desire to quit but does lead to a significant reduction in the chance of succeeding. There is clear socio-economic gradient in success in quitting, but not in the desire to quit. Those with other smokers in the household are less likely top have quit. Results for the duration analysis suggest that the determinants of the number of years smoked are broadly similar for those for quitting. The results for the Box-Cox double hurdle model are consistent with a “fixed cost” model of addiction. Addiction reduces the probability of quitting and raises the number of cigarettes smoked. However, the effects of other variables work in opposing directions for participation and consumption. The implication is that, after controlling for addiction, the more someone smokes the more likely they are to try and quit, as the potential benefits of quitting are greater.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Health Economics, University of York in its series Working Papers with number 139chedp.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chy:respap:139chedp

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Keywords: HALS; smoking; addiction;


References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Tony J Culyer, 1994. "Funding research in the NHS," Working Papers 125chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  2. Tony Culyer, 1991. "Health, health expenditures and equity," Working Papers 083chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  3. Tony J Culyer & Adam Wagstaff, 1992. "Need, equity and equality in health and health care," Working Papers 095chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  4. Tony J Culyer, 1990. "The internal market: an acceptable means to a desirable end," Working Papers 067chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  5. Tony J Culyer & Alan Wagstaff, 1991. "Need, equality and social justice," Working Papers 090chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  6. Karen Bloor & Alam Maynard & Andrew Street, 1992. "How much is a doctor worth?," Working Papers 098chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  7. Tony J Culyer & Adam Wagstaff, 1992. "QALYs versus HYEs - a theoretical exposition," Working Papers 099chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
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Cited by:
  1. Steven Yen, 2005. "Zero observations and gender differences in cigarette consumption," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(16), pages 1839-1849.
  2. Silja Göhlmann, 2007. "The Determinants of Smoking Initiation: Empirical Evidence for Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 62, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Silja Göhlmann, 2007. "The Determinants of Smoking Initiation - Empirical Evidence for Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0027, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  4. Shmueli, Amir, 1996. "Smoking cessation and health: A comment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 751-754, December.
  5. Silja Göhlmann & Christoph M. Schmidt & Harald Tauchmann, 2010. "Smoking initiation in Germany: the role of intergenerational transmission," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 227-242.
  6. Hammar, Henrik & Martinsson, Peter, 2001. "The Effect Of Cigarette Prices And Antismoking Policies On The Age Of Smoking Initiation," Working Papers in Economics 62, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.


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