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Effects of Price and Access Laws on Teenage Smoking Initiation: A National Longitudinal Analysis

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Listed:
  • John A. Tauras
  • Patrick M. O'Malley
  • Lloyd D. Johnston

Abstract

Over the past three decades a significant amount of economic research has established that increasing cigarette prices reduces cigarette smoking among both adults and adolescents. The consensus estimates for the price elasticity of adult demand from these studies fall in a narrow range of 0.3 to 0.5, suggesting that a 10% increase in the price of cigarettes would decrease adult consumption by 3%-5%. A smaller literature on youth responsiveness to cigarette prices has also emerged. A majority of these studies concluded that youth are up to three times as responsive to price as are adults. Only four econometric studies have attempted to model youth and young adult smoking initiation decisions. All four studies concluded that cigarette prices (or cigarette excise taxes) are insignificant determinants of smoking initiation. This study addresses the limitations of the previous studies on smoking initiation and examines the impact of cigarette prices and youth access laws on adolescent smoking initiation. Nationally representative longitudinal surveys of 8th and 10th graders as part of the Monitoring the Future project are employed in the analysis. State-specific prices and several measures of youth access restrictions are added to the survey data. Discrete-time hazard methods are used to model the probability of initiation. Contradicting the results of the four previous studies on smoking initiation, the results of this study clearly indicate that increases in the price of cigarettes would significantly reduce the number of adolescents who start smoking. The results are mixed with respect to youth access restrictions.

Suggested Citation

  • John A. Tauras & Patrick M. O'Malley & Lloyd D. Johnston, 2001. "Effects of Price and Access Laws on Teenage Smoking Initiation: A National Longitudinal Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8331 Note: CH HE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lewit, Eugene M & Coate, Douglas & Grossman, Michael, 1981. "The Effects of Government Regulation on Teenage Smoking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 545-569, December.
    2. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Youth Smoking in the U.S.: Prices and Policies," NBER Working Papers 7506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Frank J. Chaloupka & Michael Grossman, 1996. "Price, Tobacco Control Policies and Youth Smoking," NBER Working Papers 5740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. DeCicca, Philip & Kenkel, Donald & Mathios, Alan, 2000. "Putting Out The Fires: Will Higher Taxes Reduce Youth Smoking?," Working Papers 00-3, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    5. Douglas, Stratford, 1998. "The Duration of the Smoking Habit," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 49-64, January.
    6. Douglas, Stratford & Hariharan, Govind, 1994. "The hazard of starting smoking: Estimates from a split population duration model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 213-230, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. G. Guindon, 2014. "The impact of tobacco prices on smoking onset in Vietnam: duration analyses of retrospective data," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(1), pages 19-39, January.
    2. Lisa M. Powell & Frank J. Chaloupka, 2005. "Parents, public policy, and youth smoking," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 93-112.
    3. Maria L. Loureiro & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano & Daniela Vuri, 2010. "Smoking Habits: Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(6), pages 717-743, December.
    4. Cawley, John & Markowitz, Sara & Tauras, John, 2004. "Lighting up and slimming down: the effects of body weight and cigarette prices on adolescent smoking initiation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 293-311, March.
    5. John P. Pierce & Todd P. Gilmer & Lora Lee & Elizabeth A. Gilpin & Joy de Beyer & Karen Messer, 2005. "Tobacco industry price-subsidizing promotions may overcome the downward pressure of higher prices on initiation of regular smoking," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(10), pages 1061-1071.
    6. Hahn, Ellen J DNS, RN & Rayens, Mary Kay PhD & Chaloupka, Frank J. PhD & Okoli, Chizimuzo T.C. BSN, RN & Yang, Jun MS, 2002. "Projected Smoking-Related Deaths Among U.S. Youth: A 2000 Update," University of California at San Francisco, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education qt8j85j2ct, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UC San Francisco.
    7. Tauras, John A., 2004. "Public policy and smoking cessation among young adults in the United States," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 321-332, June.
    8. Brett Katzman & Sara Markowitz & Kerry Anne McGeary, 2002. "The Impact of Lending, Borrowing, and Anti-Smoking Policies on Cigarette Consumption by Teens," NBER Working Papers 8844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Sergey Arzhenovsky, 2006. "Socioeconomic determinants of smoking in Russia (in Russian)," Quantile, Quantile, issue 1, pages 81-100, September.
    10. Arzhenovskiy Sergey, 2005. "Socioeconomic determinants of smoking in contemporary Russia," EERC Working Paper Series 05-12e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    11. Layte, Richard & Russell, Helen & McCoy, Selina, 2002. "The Economics and Marketing of Tobacco: An Overview of the Existing Published Evidence," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS46.
    12. Marti, Joachim, 2012. "A best–worst scaling survey of adolescents' level of concern for health and non-health consequences of smoking," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 87-97.
    13. Levy, David T. & Hyland, Andrew & Higbee, Cheryl & Remer, Lillian & Compton, Christine, 2007. "The role of public policies in reducing smoking prevalence in California: Results from the California Tobacco Policy Simulation Model," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 167-185, July.
    14. Hammar, Henrik & Martinsson, Peter, 2001. "The Effect Of Cigarette Prices And Antismoking Policies On The Age Of Smoking Initiation," Working Papers in Economics 62, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

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    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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