The Effect of Smoking on Obesity: Evidence from a Randomized Trial

50 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2016

See all articles by Charles Courtemanche

Charles Courtemanche

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Rusty Tchernis

Georgia State University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Benjamin Ukert

University of Pennsylvania

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 25, 2016

Abstract

This paper aims to identify the causal effect of smoking on body weight using data from the Lung Health Study, a randomized trial of smoking cessation treatments. We find evidence that quitting smoking leads to an average long-run weight gain of around 11-12 pounds, and that the drop in smoking in recent decades explains 14% of the concurrent rise in obesity. Semi-parametric models provide evidence of a diminishing marginal effect of smoking on weight, while subsample regressions show that the impact is largest for younger individuals, females, those with no college degree, and those with healthy baseline weights.

JEL Classification: I10, I12, C11

Suggested Citation

Courtemanche, Charles and Tchernis, Rusty and Ukert, Benjamin, The Effect of Smoking on Obesity: Evidence from a Randomized Trial (January 25, 2016). Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series No. 16-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2734296 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2734296

Charles Courtemanche (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States
404-413-0082 (Phone)

Rusty Tchernis

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www2.gsu.edu/~ecort

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Benjamin Ukert

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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