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Smoking Policies and Birth Outcomes: Estimates From a New Era

Author

Listed:
  • Sara Markowitz
  • E. Kathleen Adams
  • Patricia M. Dietz
  • Viji Kannan
  • Van Tong

Abstract

Smoking during pregnancy has been shown to have significant adverse health effects for new born babies. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of low birth weight of infants who in turn, need more resources at delivery and are more likely to have related health problems in infancy and beyond. Despite these outcomes, many women still smoke during pregnancy. The main question for policy makers is whether tobacco control policies can influence maternal smoking and reduce adverse birth outcomes. We examine this question using data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data from 2000 to 2005. This is a time period during which states significantly changed their tobacco control policies by raising excise taxes and imposing strong restrictions on indoor smoking. We estimate reduced form models of birth weight and gestational weeks, focusing on the effects of taxes and workplace restrictions on smoking as the policies of interest. We also estimate demand equations for the probability of smoking during the third trimester. Results show that the smoking policies are effective, but limited to babies born to mothers of certain age groups. For babies born to teenage mothers, higher cigarette taxes are associated with small increases in birth weight and gestational weeks. For babies born to mothers ages 25-34, restrictions on smoking in the workplace are associated with small increases in gestational weeks.

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Markowitz & E. Kathleen Adams & Patricia M. Dietz & Viji Kannan & Van Tong, 2011. "Smoking Policies and Birth Outcomes: Estimates From a New Era," NBER Working Papers 17160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17160
    Note: CH HC HE
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17160.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jérôme Adda & Francesca Cornaglia, 2010. "The Effect of Bans and Taxes on Passive Smoking," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
    2. Carpenter, Christopher & Cook, Philip J., 2008. "Cigarette taxes and youth smoking: New evidence from national, state, and local Youth Risk Behavior Surveys," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 287-299, March.
    3. Marianne P. Bitler & Christopher S. Carpenter & Madeline Zavodny, 2010. "Effects of venue‐specific state clean indoor air laws on smoking‐related outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(12), pages 1425-1440, December.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2004.039727_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Colman, Greg & Grossman, Michael & Joyce, Ted, 2003. "The effect of cigarette excise taxes on smoking before, during and after pregnancy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1053-1072, November.
    6. Markowitz, Sara, 2008. "The effectiveness of cigarette regulations in reducing cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 106-133, January.
    7. Levy, Douglas E. & Meara, Ellen, 2006. "The effect of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement on prenatal smoking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 276-294, March.
    8. Matthew C. Farrelly & William N. Evans & Edward Montgomery, 1999. "Do Workplace Smoking Bans Reduce Smoking?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 728-747, September.
    9. Evans, William N. & Ringel, Jeanne S., 1999. "Can higher cigarette taxes improve birth outcomes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 135-154, April.
    10. Wakschlag, Lauren S. & Pickett, Kate E. & Middlecamp, Molly K. & Walton, Laura L. & Tenzer, Penny & Leventhal, Bennett L., 2003. "Pregnant smokers who quit, pregnant smokers who don't: does history of problem behavior make a difference?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(12), pages 2449-2460, June.
    11. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303.
    12. John A. Tauras, 2004. "Public policy and some-day smoking among adults," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 7, pages 137-162, May.
    13. DeCicca, Philip & McLeod, Logan, 2008. "Cigarette taxes and older adult smoking: Evidence from recent large tax increases," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 918-929, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cowan Benjamin & Tefft Nathan, 2012. "Education, Maternal Smoking, and the Earned Income Tax Credit," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-39, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General

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