IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this book chapter or follow this series

Smoking Cessation and Lifestyle Changes

In: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 6

  • Gabriel Picone
  • Frank Sloan

We used the first five waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to study three distinct but possibly interrelated phenomena: smoking cessation, changes in alcohol consumption, and changes in weight. The HRS is well suited for our study because it contains smoking and drinking behavior measures; weight; detailed financial, demographic, and health data; and health conditions existing at baseline and those newly occurring. Men who quit smoking within two years before the interview reduced daily alcohol consumption by about 0.1 to 0.15. Smoking cessation did not affect alcohol consumption for women. Unlike men, for whom there was no interaction between smoking cessation and problem drinking, female problem drinkers who quit smoking during the last two years reduced daily alcohol consumption by about 0.3 to 0.4 drinks per day on average, but the effect was only temporary. Quitting or starting heavy drinking had no effect on smoking cessation for either gender. Smoking cessation led to an increase in body mass index (BMI), both for men and for women. Furthermore, the effect increased with duration of smoking cessation. For men, BMI increased by 0.28 in the first two years after smoking cessation, but by almost 0.7 among male smokers who had quit more than two years previously. For females, the short-run effect of smoking cessation was larger, but the long-run effect was about the same as for men. A 0.7 increase in BMI is equivalent to about a five-pound increase in weight for a person who is 5 feet, 11 inches tall. Overall, our longitudinal analysis of HRS data shows that smoking cessation is negatively associated with alcohol consumption and positively associated with weight gain. The specific nature of the link between smoking cessation and alcohol consumption differs between the genders.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

in new window

This chapter was published in:
  • David M. Cutler & Alan M. Garber, 2003. "Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 6," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number cutl03-1, December.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 9866.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:9866
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Clark, Andrew & Etile, Fabrice, 2002. "Do health changes affect smoking? Evidence from British panel data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 533-562, July.
    2. Frank J. Chaloupka & Kenneth E. Warner, 1999. "The Economics of Smoking," NBER Working Papers 7047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. V. Kerry Smith & Donald H. Taylor & Frank A. Sloan, 2001. "Longevity Expectations and Death: Can People Predict Their Own Demise?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1126-1134, September.
    4. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303, November.
    5. Arcidiacono, Peter & Sieg, Holger & Sloan, Frank, 2002. "Living Rationally Under the Volcano? An Empirical Analysis of Heavy Drinking and Smoking," Working Papers 02-30, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    6. Jones, Andrew M., 1994. "Health, addiction, social interaction and the decision to quit smoking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 93-110, March.
    7. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    8. Dee, Thomas S., 1999. "The complementarity of teen smoking and drinking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 769-793, December.
    9. William N. Evans & Matthew C. Farrelly, 1998. "The Compensating Behavior of Smokers: Taxes, Tar, and Nicotine," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(3), pages 578-595, Autumn.
    10. Goldbaum, David, 2000. "Life Cycle Consumption of a Harmful and Addictive Good," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(3), pages 458-69, July.
    11. Douglas, Stratford, 1998. "The Duration of the Smoking Habit," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 49-64, January.
    12. James P. Ziliak & Thomas J. Kniesner, 1998. "The Importance of Sample Attrition in Life Cycle Labor Supply Estimation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 507-530.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:9866. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.