Exposure to Cigarette Taxes as a Teenager and the Persistence of Smoking into Adulthood
43 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2021 Last revised: 18 Nov 2021
Date Written: October 2021
Are teenage and adult smoking causally related? Recent anti-tobacco policy is predicated on the assumption that preventing teenagers from smoking will ensure that fewer adults smoke, but direct evidence in support of this assumption is scant. Using data from three nationally representative sources and cigarette taxes experienced as a teenager as an instrument, we document a strong, positive relationship between teenage and adult smoking: specifically, deterring 10 teenagers from smoking through raising cigarette taxes roughly translates into 5 or 6 fewer eventual adult smokers. We conclude that efforts to reduce teenage smoking can have important, long-lasting consequences on smoking participation and, presumably, health.
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