The Health Care Consequences of Smoking and Its Regulation
In: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 4
The literature on the health economics of smoking presents two principal facts: (1) that smoking increases health care costs and (2) that restrictions on smoking lead to reductions in smoking prevalence and intensity. Some researchers have hypothesized that these two facts, in combination, allow the inference that restricting smoking will lower health care costs. For various reasons, however, observed associations between smoking and health care use on the one hand, and regulations and smoking on the other, do not imply a causal effect of the restrictions on health care.This article extends the literature by examining whether cigarette tax increases lead to lower health care costs. Using data from the 1991 and 1993 National Health Interview Surveys, it fi
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