The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Smoking Cessation on Alcohol Consumption

50 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2017  

Benjamin Ukert

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: January 23, 2017


This paper examines the short- and long-term effect of quitting smoking on alcoholic beverage consumption using the Lung Health Study, a randomized smoking cessation program. Building on the theory of rational addiction, I estimate the relationship between smoking and alcohol consumption using several different smoking measures. Moreover, I implement a two-stage Least squares estimation strategy utilizing the randomized smoking cessation program as an instrument. The empirical analysis leads to three salient findings. First, self-reported and clinically verified smoking measures suggest that quitting smoking lowers alcoholic beverages consumption by 11.5%. Second, cigarette consumption dating back up to 60 months affects alcohol consumption, and those with the highest average consumption see the largest increase in alcohol consumption. Lastly, the length of abstaining from smoking decreases alcohol consumption, where participants decrease alcohol consumption by up to 20% from baseline levels after five years of smoking cessation. As a result, these findings suggest that the public health and finance benefits are undervalued in smoking cessations treatments.

Keywords: Risky behaviors, Smoking, Drinking, Addiction, Theory of rational addiction

JEL Classification: I1, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Ukert, Benjamin, The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Smoking Cessation on Alcohol Consumption (January 23, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Benjamin Ukert (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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