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Stress And Smoking: Associations With Terrorism And Causal Impact

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  • MICHAEL F. PESKO

Abstract

type="main" xml:lang="en"> This study analyzes the effects of the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11 terrorist attacks on stress, smoking, and smoking quit attempts using 1,657,985 observations from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Regression discontinuity results suggest that, in the fourth quarter of 2001, stress increased by nearly an extra half day per 30 days (11.9%) among ever smoking adults. In the 2 years after 9/11, smoking prevalence increased by 1.1 percentage points (2.3%) among ever smoking adults, resulting in between 950,000 and 1,300,000 adult former smokers becoming smokers again because of terrorism. The net cost to the government was between $530 million and $830 million through the end of 2003. Adults reported disproportionate stress increases based on community military participation and education. Simultaneity between smoking and stress is addressed by an instrumental variables model, providing validity to the hypothesized causal pathway between terrorism, stress, and smoking. This model suggests that an extra day of stress per 30 days causes a 3.4 percentage point increase in smoking among ever smoking adults. Results help to quantify a hidden cost of terrorism and provide a better understanding of utility maximization during periods of high stress. (JEL I12, I18)

Suggested Citation

  • Michael F. Pesko, 2014. "Stress And Smoking: Associations With Terrorism And Causal Impact," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(2), pages 351-371, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:32:y:2014:i:2:p:351-371
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/coep.12021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. P. Kler & G. Leeves & S. Shankar, 2015. "Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself: Perceptions of Job Security in Australia After the Global Financial Crisis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 753-769, September.
    2. Pesko, Michael F. & Baum, Christopher F., 2016. "The self-medication hypothesis: Evidence from terrorism and cigarette accessibility," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 94-102.
    3. Michael F. Pesko & Charles J. Courtemanche & Johanna Catherine Maclean, 2019. "The Effects of Traditional Cigarette and E-Cigarette Taxes on Adult Tobacco Product Use," NBER Working Papers 26017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Clark, Andrew & Stancanelli, Elena, 2017. "Americans’ Responses to Terrorism and Mass-Shooting: Evidence from the American Time Use Survey and Well-Being Module," GLO Discussion Paper Series 26, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Michael F. Pesko & Charles J. Courtemanche & Johanna Catherine Maclean, 2020. "The effects of traditional cigarette and e-cigarette tax rates on adult tobacco product use," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 60(3), pages 229-258, June.
    6. Andrew E. Clark & Orla Doyle & Elena Stancanelli, 2017. "The Impact of Terrorism on Well-being: Evidence from the Boston Marathon Bombing," Working Papers 201717, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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