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Cigarette Use and the Narrowing Sex Differential in Mortality

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  • Fred C. Pampel

Abstract

What explains the recent reversal in many countries of century-long trends toward a growing female advantage in mortality? And might the reversal indicate that new roles and statuses of women have begun to harm their health relative to men? Using data on 21 high-income countries that separate smoking deaths from other deaths, this study answers the first question by showing that the reversal in the direction of change in the sex differential results from increased levels of smoking among women relative to men. Using additional cross-national data on cigarette consumption and indicators of gender equality, this article answers the second question in the negative by showing that the declining female advantage in smoking mortality results from patterns of the diffusion of cigarette use rather than from improvements in women's status. Evidence of continued improvement in the female mortality advantage net of smoking deaths, and the likely decline of smoking among women in the future, imply that the recent narrowing of the differential will reverse. Copyright 2002 by The Population Council, Inc..

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  • Fred C. Pampel, 2002. "Cigarette Use and the Narrowing Sex Differential in Mortality," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(1), pages 77-104.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:28:y:2002:i:1:p:77-104
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    Cited by:

    1. Brian Rostron & John Wilmoth, 2011. "Estimating the Effect of Smoking on Slowdowns in Mortality Declines in Developed Countries," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 461-479, May.
    2. Yang, Seungmi & Khang, Young-Ho & Chun, Heeran & Harper, Sam & Lynch, John, 2012. "The changing gender differences in life expectancy in Korea 1970–2005," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(7), pages 1280-1287.
    3. Pampel, Fred & Legleye, Stephane & Goffette, Céline & Piontek, Daniela & Kraus, Ludwig & Khlat, Myriam, 2015. "Cohort changes in educational disparities in smoking: France, Germany and the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 41-50.
    4. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2005. "Sex differences in morbidity and mortality," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(2), pages 189-214, May.
    5. Lenny Stoeldraijer & Coen van Duin & Leo van Wissen & Fanny Janssen, 2013. "Impact of different mortality forecasting methods and explicit assumptions on projected future life expectancy: The case of the Netherlands," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(13), pages 323-354, August.
    6. Lundborg, Petter & Andersson, Henrik, 2008. "Gender, risk perceptions, and smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1299-1311, September.
    7. Ronald Lee, 2003. "The Demographic Transition: Three Centuries of Fundamental Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 167-190, Fall.
    8. Jason Boardman & Casey Blalock & Fred Pampel & Peter Hatemi & Andrew Heath & Lindon Eaves, 2011. "Population Composition, Public Policy, and the Genetics of Smoking," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(4), pages 1517-1533, November.
    9. Mamelund, Svenn-Erik, 2003. "Effects of the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19 on Later Life Mortality of Norwegian Cohorts Born About 1900," Memorandum 29/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    10. Andrew Noymer & Viola Van, 2014. "Divergence without decoupling," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(51), pages 1503-1524, December.
    11. Magdalena M. Muszyńska & Roland Rau, 2009. "Falling Short of Highest Life Expectancy: How Many Americans Might Have Been Alive in the Twentieth Century?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(3), pages 585-603.
    12. Vladimir Shkolnikov & Evgeny Andreev & Zhen Zhang & James Oeppen & James Vaupel, 2011. "Losses of Expected Lifetime in the United States and Other Developed Countries: Methods and Empirical Analyses," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(1), pages 211-239, February.
    13. Buttenheim, Alison & Goldman, Noreen & Pebley, Anne R. & Wong, Rebeca & Chung, Chang, 2010. "Do Mexican immigrants "import" social gradients in health to the US?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(7), pages 1268-1276, October.
    14. Fred Pampel, 2005. "Forecasting sex differences in mortality in high income nations," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 13(18), pages 455-484, November.
    15. John Bongaarts, 2014. "Trends in Causes of Death in Low-Mortality Countries: Implications for Mortality Projections," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 40(2), pages 189-212, June.
    16. Aïda Solé-Auró & Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez & Eileen Crimmins, 2015. "Are Differences in Disability-Free Life Expectancy by Gender, Race, and Education Widening at Older Ages?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 34(1), pages 1-18, February.
    17. James W. Vaupel, 2009. "Lively Questions for Demographers about Death at Older Ages," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 347-356.
    18. Catherine Ross & Ryan Masters & Robert Hummer, 2012. "Education and the Gender Gaps in Health and Mortality," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(4), pages 1157-1183, November.
    19. Vladimir M. Shkolnikov & Evgueni M. Andreev & Zhen Zhang & James E. Oeppen & James W. Vaupel, 2009. "Losses of expected lifetime in the US and other developed countries: methods and empirical analyses," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-042, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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