The Demand for Cigarettes as Derived from the Demand for Weight Control
AbstractWe provide new evidence on the extent to which the demand for cigarettes is derived from the demand for weight control (i.e. weight loss or avoidance of weight gain). We utilize nationally representative data that provide the most direct evidence to date on this question: individuals are directly asked whether they smoke to control their weight. We find that,among teenagers who smoke frequently, 46% of girls and 30% of boys are smoking in part to control their weight. This practice is significantly more common among youths who describe themselves as too fat than those who describe themselves as about the right weight. The derived demand for cigarettes has important implications for tax policy. Under reasonable assumptions, the demand for cigarettes is less price elastic among those who smoke for weight control. Thus, taxes on cigarettes will result in less behavior change (but more revenue collection and less deadweight loss) among those for whom the demand for cigarettes is a derived demand. Public health efforts to reduce smoking initiation and encourage cessation may wish to design campaigns to alter the derived nature of cigarette demand, especially among adolescent girls.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 13/06.
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
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Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Phone: (0)1904 323776
Fax: (0)1904 323759
Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/res/herc/research/hedg/
More information through EDIRC
smoking; cigarettes; obesity; BMI; weight; derived demand; price elasticity;
Other versions of this item:
- Cawley, John & von Hinke Kessler Scholder, Stephanie, 2013. "The Demand for Cigarettes as Derived from the Demand for Weight Control," IZA Discussion Papers 7213, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- John Cawley & Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2013. "The Demand for Cigarettes as Derived from the Demand for Weight Control," NBER Working Papers 18805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
- D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
- H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
- Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy
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