Quantifying the Cost of Passive Smoking on Child Health: Evidence from Children's Cotinine Samples

30 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2006

See all articles by Paul Frijters

Paul Frijters

Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance

Michael A. Shields

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Stephen Wheatley Price

University of Leicester - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jenny Williams

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

Passive smoking is a major public health issue. This paper documents the main risk factors that determine children's exposure to passive smoke, and then uses econometric techniques to provide a new economic quantification of the impact of this exposure on child health. Such information is valuable to policy-makers when deciding upon the amount of resources to direct towards the problem of passive smoking. One of our main contributions is the use of a large nationally representative sample of children drawn from the Health Survey for England, for whom we match parental and household smoking and demographic characteristics. We also utilise an objective measure of children's exposure, namely, the level of cotinine - a metabolite of nicotine - in their saliva. We find that both parental and child carer smoking behaviour, as well as area deprivation, are major risk factors in determining children's exposure to passive smoke. Accounting for the potential measurement error in cotinine in our estimations, we have calculated that for a child who is exposed to a high number of passive smoking risk factors, the shadow price or income-equivalence of such exposure is £16,000 (US$30,000) per year. A further policy-related result is that comprehensively controlling for child passive smoking does not explain the observed gradient between household income and child health.

Keywords: passive smoking, child health, parental smoking, cotinine, income

JEL Classification: D1, I1

Suggested Citation

Frijters, Paul and Shields, Michael A. and Wheatley Price, Stephen and Williams, Jenny, Quantifying the Cost of Passive Smoking on Child Health: Evidence from Children's Cotinine Samples (July 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2219. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=921071

Paul Frijters

Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

GPO Box 2434
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia
(07) 3864 9364 (Phone)
(07) 3864 1500 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bus.qut.edu.au/paulfrijters/index.jsp

Michael A. Shields (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Victoria 3010, 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 4656 (Phone)
+61 3 8344 6899 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Stephen Wheatley Price

University of Leicester - Department of Economics ( email )

New Building 325
Leicester LE1 7RH
United Kingdom
+0116 252 5645 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Jenny Williams

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au/staffprofile/jwilliams.htm

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