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Quantifying the Cost of Passive Smoking on Child Health: Evidence from Children’s Cotinine Samples

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Author Info

  • Frijters, Paul

    ()
    (University of Queensland)

  • Shields, Michael A.

    ()
    (Monash University)

  • Price, Stephen Wheatley

    ()
    (University of Leicester)

  • Williams, Jenny

    ()
    (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Passive smoking is a major public health issue. This paper documents the main risk factors that determine children’s exposure to passive smoke, and then uses econometric techniques to provide a new economic quantification of the impact of this exposure on child health. Such information is valuable to policy-makers when deciding upon the amount of resources to direct towards the problem of passive smoking. One of our main contributions is the use of a large nationally representative sample of children drawn from the Health Survey for England, for whom we match parental and household smoking and demographic characteristics. We also utilise an objective measure of children’s exposure, namely, the level of cotinine – a metabolite of nicotine - in their saliva. We find that both parental and child carer smoking behaviour, as well as area deprivation, are major risk factors in determining children’s exposure to passive smoke. Accounting for the potential measurement error in cotinine in our estimations, we have calculated that for a child who is exposed to a high number of passive smoking risk factors, the shadow price or income-equivalence of such exposure is £16,000 (US$30,000) per year. A further policy-related result is that comprehensively controlling for child passive smoking does not explain the observed gradient between household income and child health.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2219.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2219

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Keywords: passive smoking; child health; parental smoking; cotinine; income;

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References

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  1. Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2001. "Exploring the Economic and Social Determinants of Psychological and Psychosocial Health," IZA Discussion Papers 396, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
  3. Lisa Cameron & Jenny Williams, 2009. "Is the relationship between socioeconomic status and health stronger for older children in developing countries?," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 303-324, May.
  4. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic status and health in childhood: the origins of the gradient," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing. 262, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  5. Jérôme Adda & Francesca Cornaglia, 2006. "The Effect of Taxes and Bans on Passive Smoking," CEPR Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University 509, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  6. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & John Rigg, 2004. "The Impact of Low-Income on Child Health: Evidence from a Birth Cohort Study," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK 04/098, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  7. Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2005. "Exploring the economic and social determinants of psychological well-being and perceived social support in England," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 513-537.
  8. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  9. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2003. "Does inequality in self-assessed health predict inequality in survival by income? Evidence from Swedish data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 57(9), pages 1621-1629, November.
  10. Currie, Alison & Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2004. "Is the Child Health / Family Income Gradient Universal? Evidence from England," IZA Discussion Papers 1328, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Nguyen, Hai V., 2013. "Do smoke-free car laws work? Evidence from a quasi-experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 138-148.

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