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Does Early Life Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Permanently Harm Childhood Health? Evidence from Cigarette Tax Hikes

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  • David Simon

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

Evidence suggests that excise taxes on tobacco improve fetal health. It remains unknown if smoke exposure causes lasting harm to children. I find that a one dollar increase in the state cigarette excise tax while in-utero causes a 10% decrease in sick days from school, and a 4.5% decrease in the likelihood of having two or more doctor visits in the past 12 months. I find suggestive evidence for decreases in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and asthma. This supports the hypothesis that exposure to smoking in utero and the first months of life carries significant medium-term costs. My results also suggest that excise tax policy can lead to lasting intergenerational improvements in wellbeing.

Suggested Citation

  • David Simon, 2013. "Does Early Life Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Permanently Harm Childhood Health? Evidence from Cigarette Tax Hikes," Working papers 2013-21, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised May 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2013-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Hilary Hoynes & Doug Miller & David Simon, 2015. "Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 172-211, February.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. #HEJC papers for October 2013
      by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-10-01 04:30:26

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    Cited by:

    1. Pesko, Michael F. & Currie, Janet M., 2019. "E-cigarette minimum legal sale age laws and traditional cigarette use among rural pregnant teenagers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 71-90.
    2. Chad Cotti & David Simon, 2018. "The Impact Of Stock Market Fluctuations On The Mental And Physical Well‐Being Of Children," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(2), pages 1007-1027, April.
    3. Bharadwaj, Prashant & Johnsen, Julian V. & Løken, Katrine V., 2014. "Smoking bans, maternal smoking and birth outcomes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 72-93.
    4. David Simon, 2014. "Cigarette Taxation and Pregnancy: Policy Based Estimates of the Price Elasticity of Smoking During Pregnancy," Working papers 2014-22, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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