Is the CDC Blowing Smoke?

8 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2009 Last revised: 14 Aug 2009

Date Written: 2009


This article examines the claim by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that if states follow CDC recommendations for spending on anti-tobacco programs, the result will be large reductions in cigarette consumption. The findings do not support the CDC’s claims.

Contemporaneous spending on tobacco control is never found to exert an inverse effect on sales, and at times is found to exert a significant and positive effect on sales. The true effect, however, appears to be zero based on current and past spending discounted at various rates. At best, the CDC-promised effects arise at fairly low levels of confidence and with trivial effects on cigarette sales.

Keywords: CDC, tobacco, tobacco regulation, cigarette tax, tobacco control, smoke ban, smoking ban

JEL Classification: D12, H20, H71, I18, L66, H51

Suggested Citation

Marlow, Michael L., Is the CDC Blowing Smoke? (2009). Regulation, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 46-52, Summer 2009. Available at SSRN:

Michael L. Marlow (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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