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Smoking Policies and Birth Outcomes: Estimates From a New Era

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  • Sara Markowitz
  • E. Kathleen Adams
  • Patricia M. Dietz
  • Viji Kannan
  • Van Tong

Abstract

Smoking during pregnancy has been shown to have significant adverse health effects for new born babies. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of low birth weight of infants who in turn, need more resources at delivery and are more likely to have related health problems in infancy and beyond. Despite these outcomes, many women still smoke during pregnancy. The main question for policy makers is whether tobacco control policies can influence maternal smoking and reduce adverse birth outcomes. We examine this question using data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data from 2000 to 2005. This is a time period during which states significantly changed their tobacco control policies by raising excise taxes and imposing strong restrictions on indoor smoking. We estimate reduced form models of birth weight and gestational weeks, focusing on the effects of taxes and workplace restrictions on smoking as the policies of interest. We also estimate demand equations for the probability of smoking during the third trimester. Results show that the smoking policies are effective, but limited to babies born to mothers of certain age groups. For babies born to teenage mothers, higher cigarette taxes are associated with small increases in birth weight and gestational weeks. For babies born to mothers ages 25-34, restrictions on smoking in the workplace are associated with small increases in gestational weeks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17160.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17160

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  1. Matthew C. Farrelly & William N. Evans & Edward Montgomery, 1999. "Do Workplace Smoking Bans Reduce Smoking?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 728-747, September.
  2. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303, November.
  3. Sara Markowitz, 2006. "The Effectiveness of Cigarette Regulations in Reducing Cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome," NBER Working Papers 12527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marianne P. Bitler & Christopher Carpenter & Madeline Zavodny, 2009. "Effects of Venue-Specific State Clean Indoor Air Laws on Smoking-Related Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 15229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Greg Coleman & Michael Grossman & Ted Joyce, 2002. "The Effect of Cigarette Excise Taxes on Smoking Before, During and After Pregnancy," NBER Working Papers 9245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Carpenter, Christopher & Cook, Philip J., 2008. "Cigarette taxes and youth smoking: New evidence from national, state, and local Youth Risk Behavior Surveys," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 287-299, March.
  7. Jérôme Adda & Francesca Cornaglia, 2009. "The effect of bans and taxes on passive smoking," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28679, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Levy, Douglas E. & Meara, Ellen, 2006. "The effect of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement on prenatal smoking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 276-294, March.
  9. DeCicca, Philip & McLeod, Logan, 2008. "Cigarette taxes and older adult smoking: Evidence from recent large tax increases," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 918-929, July.
  10. Wakschlag, Lauren S. & Pickett, Kate E. & Middlecamp, Molly K. & Walton, Laura L. & Tenzer, Penny & Leventhal, Bennett L., 2003. "Pregnant smokers who quit, pregnant smokers who don't: does history of problem behavior make a difference?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(12), pages 2449-2460, June.
  11. Evans, William N. & Ringel, Jeanne S., 1999. "Can higher cigarette taxes improve birth outcomes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 135-154, April.
  12. Gui,Benedetto & Sugden,Robert (ed.), 2005. "Economics and Social Interaction," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848848, April.
  13. John A. Tauras, 2004. "Public policy and some-day smoking among adults," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 137-162, May.
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