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Does Falling Smoking Lead to Rising Obesity?

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  • Jonathan Gruber
  • Michael Frakes

Abstract

The strong negative correlation over time between smoking rates and obesity have led some to suggest that reduced smoking is increasing weight gain in the U.S.. This conclusion is supported by the findings of Chou et al. (2004), who conclude that higher cigarette prices lead to increased body weight. We investigate this issue and find no evidence that reduced smoking leads to weight gain. Using the cigarette tax rather than the cigarette price and controlling for non-linear time effects, we find a negative effect of cigarette taxes on body weight, implying that reduced smoking leads to lower body weights. Yet our results, as well as Chou et al., imply implausibly large effects of smoking on body weight. Thus, we cannot confirm that falling smoking leads in a major way to rising obesity rates in the U.S.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11483.

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Date of creation: Jul 2005
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Publication status: published as Gruber, Jonathan and Michael Frakes. "Does Falling Smoking Lead To Rising Obesity?," Journal of Health Economics, 2006, v25(2,Mar), 183-197.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11483

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Cited by:
  1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J. & van Landeghem, Bert, 2009. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," IZA Discussion Papers 4010, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Charles L. Baum, 2009. "The effects of cigarette costs on BMI and obesity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 3-19.
  3. Mario Mazzocchi & W. Bruce Traill, 2011. "Calories, obesity and health in OECD countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(26), pages 3919-3929.
  4. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2008. "Maternal employment and overweight children: does timing matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 889-906.
  5. Trenton Smith, 2009. "Reconciling psychology with economics: Obesity, behavioral biology, and rational overeating," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 249-282, December.
  6. Oswald, Andrew J & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence : Theory and Evidence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 793, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  7. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2008. "What lies behind socio-economic inequalities in obesity in Spain A decomposition approach," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 61-73, February.
  8. Anura Amarasinghe & Gerard D'Souza & Cheryl Brown & Hyungna Oh, 2006. "The Influence of Socioeconomic and Environmental Factors on Health and Obesity in Rural Appalachia," Working Papers 200612, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
  9. Duffy, Patricia A. & Zizza, Claire A. & Zhu, Min & Kinnucan, Henry W. & Tayie, Francis A., 2008. "Food Insecurity, Diet Quality, and Body Weight: Inter-Relationships and the Effect of Smoking and Alcohol Consumption," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6155, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  10. Art Carden & Charles Courtemanche & Jeremy Meiners, 2009. "Does Wal-Mart reduce social capital?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 109-136, January.
  11. Anura Amarasinghe & Gerard D'Souza & Cheryl Brown & Tatiana Borisova, 2006. "A Spatial Analysis of Obesity in West Virginia," Working Papers 200613, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
  12. Christopher Carpenter & Philip J. Cook, 2007. "Cigarette Taxes and Youth Smoking: New Evidence from National, State, & Local Youth Risk Behavior Surveys," NBER Working Papers 13046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Paul S. Carlin & Michael P. Kidd & Mehmet A. Ulubasoglu, 2008. "International Evidence On Obesity Increases: Legal Systems And Motor Vehicle Dependence," Economics Series 2008_24, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.

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