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Quantifying the cost of passive smoking on child health: evidence from children's cotinine samples

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  • Paul Frijters
  • Michael A. Shields
  • Stephen Wheatley Price
  • Jenny Williams

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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Suggested Citation

  • Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price & Jenny Williams, 2011. "Quantifying the cost of passive smoking on child health: evidence from children's cotinine samples," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 174(1), pages 195-212, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:174:y:2011:i:1:p:195-212
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-985X.2010.00666.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & John A. Rigg, 2004. "The Impact of Low Income on Child Health: Evidence from a Birth Cohort Study," CASE Papers 085, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    2. 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, vol. 57(9), pages 1621-1629, November.
    3. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
    4. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    5. Jerome Adda & Francesca Cornaglia, 2005. "The effects of taxes and bans on passive smoking," CeMMAP working papers CWP20/05, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. 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).
    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, vol. 168(3), pages 513-537.
    8. Lisa Cameron & Jenny Williams, 2009. "Is the relationship between socioeconomic status and health stronger for older children in developing countries?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(2), pages 303-324, May.
    9. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
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    Cited by:

    1. Edoka, I.P., 2012. "Decomposing Differences in Cotinine Distribution between Children and Adolescents from Different Socioeconomic Backgrounds," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/29, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Nguyen, Hai V., 2013. "Do smoke-free car laws work? Evidence from a quasi-experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 138-148.
    3. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2016. "Effects of pregnancy and birth on smoking and drinking behaviors: a comparative study between men and women," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 16-26, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child health ; Cotinine ; Income ; Parental smoking ; Passive smoking ;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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