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Does Falling Smoking Lead to Rising Obesity?

Author

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  • Jonathan Gruber
  • Michael Frakes

Abstract

The strong negative correlation over time between smoking rates and obesity have led some to suggest that reduced smoking is increasing weight gain in the U.S.. This conclusion is supported by the findings of Chou et al. (2004), who conclude that higher cigarette prices lead to increased body weight. We investigate this issue and find no evidence that reduced smoking leads to weight gain. Using the cigarette tax rather than the cigarette price and controlling for non-linear time effects, we find a negative effect of cigarette taxes on body weight, implying that reduced smoking leads to lower body weights. Yet our results, as well as Chou et al., imply implausibly large effects of smoking on body weight. Thus, we cannot confirm that falling smoking leads in a major way to rising obesity rates in the U.S.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Gruber & Michael Frakes, 2005. "Does Falling Smoking Lead to Rising Obesity?," NBER Working Papers 11483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11483
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    Cited by:

    1. Anura Amarasinghe & Gerard D'Souza & Cheryl Brown & Tatiana Borisova, 2006. "A Spatial Analysis of Obesity in West Virginia," Working Papers Working Paper 2006-13, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
    2. Art Carden & Charles Courtemanche & Jeremy Meiners, 2009. "Does Wal-Mart reduce social capital?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 109-136, January.
    3. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2009. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 528-538, 04-05.
    4. Anura Amarasinghe & Gerard D'Souza & Cheryl Brown & Hyungna Oh, 2006. "The Influence of Socioeconomic and Environmental Factors on Health and Obesity in Rural Appalachia," Working Papers Working Paper 2006-12, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
    5. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2008. "Maternal employment and overweight children: does timing matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 889-906.
    6. Duffy, Patricia A. & Zizza, Claire A. & Zhu, Min & Kinnucan, Henry W. & Tayie, Francis A., 2008. "Food Insecurity, Diet Quality, and Body Weight: Inter-Relationships and the Effect of Smoking and Alcohol Consumption," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6155, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    7. Mario Mazzocchi & W. Bruce Traill, 2011. "Calories, obesity and health in OECD countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(26), pages 3919-3929.
    8. repec:rri:wpaper:200613 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Oswald, Andrew J & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence : Theory and Evidence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 793, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    10. Trenton Smith, 2009. "Reconciling psychology with economics: Obesity, behavioral biology, and rational overeating," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 249-282, December.
    11. repec:rri:wpaper:200612 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2008. "What lies behind socio-economic inequalities in obesity in Spain A decomposition approach," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 61-73, February.
    13. Frédéric Boehm, 2012. "Competencias del economista como analista y asesor político," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL CARIBE 010270, UNIVERSIDAD DEL NORTE.
    14. Charles L. Baum, 2009. "The effects of cigarette costs on BMI and obesity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 3-19.
    15. Christopher Carpenter & Philip J. Cook, 2007. "Cigarette Taxes and Youth Smoking: New Evidence from National, State, & Local Youth Risk Behavior Surveys," NBER Working Papers 13046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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