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Smoking outside: the effect of the Irish workplace smoking ban on smoking prevalence among the employed

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  • Savage, Michael

Abstract

In March 2004, Ireland became the first country to introduce a nationwide workplace smoking ban. The primary aim of the ban was to reduce people’s exposure to second-hand smoke. A 95% compliance rate among employers suggests this aim was achieved. By prohibiting smoking in the majority of indoor working places, an effect of the ban was to increase the non-monetary cost of smoking. The aim of this paper is to examine whether the extra non-monetary cost of smoking was concentrated on the employed. A difference-in-differences approach is used to measure changes in smoking behaviour among the employed relative to the non-working population following the introduction of the workplace smoking ban. The research finds that the workplace smoking ban did not induce a greater reduction in smoking prevalence among the employed population compared with the non-working population. In fact, the evidence suggests a significantly larger decrease in smoking prevalence among the non-workers relative to the employed. Changes in the real price of cigarettes and changes in attitudes to risk are discussed as possible causes for the pattern observed.

Suggested Citation

  • Savage, Michael, 2014. "Smoking outside: the effect of the Irish workplace smoking ban on smoking prevalence among the employed," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 407-424, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:hecopl:v:9:y:2014:i:04:p:407-424_00
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    1. Clément de Chaisemartin & Pierre‐Yves Geoffard & Anne‐Laurence le Faou, 2011. "Workplace smoking ban effects on unhappy smokers," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(9), pages 1043-1055, September.
    2. Clément de Chaisemartin & Pierre-Yves Geoffard, 2010. "Workplace smoking ban effects in an heterogeneous smoking population," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564896, HAL.
    3. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
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