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

  • David Simon

    (University of Connecticut)

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 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 in-utero exposure to smoking carries significant medium-term costs and excise tax policy can result in lasting intergenerational improvements in wellbeing.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2013-21.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2013-21
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
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  9. Alan Barreca, 2009. "The Long-Term Economic Impact of In Utero and Postnatal Exposure to Malaria," Working Papers 0905, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
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  13. 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.
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