The Effectiveness of Cigarette Regulations in Reducing Cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sara Markowitz

NBER Working Paper No. 12527
Issued in September 2006
NBER Program(s):Children, Health Economics

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a leading cause of mortality among infants and is responsible for thousands of infant deaths every year. Prenatal smoking and postnatal environmental smoke have been identified as strong risk factors for SIDS. Given the link between smoking and SIDS, this paper examines the direct effects of cigarette prices, taxes and clean indoor air laws in explaining changes in the incidence of SIDS over time in the United States. State-level counts of SIDS cases are generated from death certificates for 1973 to 2003. After controlling for some observed and unobserved confounding factors, the results show that higher cigarette prices and taxes are associated with reductions in SIDS cases. Stronger restrictions on smoking in restaurants and child care centers are also effective in reducing SIDS deaths.

download in pdf format
   (194 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the May 2007 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12527

Published: Markowitz, Sara, 2008. "The effectiveness of cigarette regulations in reducing cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 106-133, January. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Evans and Ringel w5998 Can Higher Cigarette Taxes Improve Birth Outcomes?
Markowitz, Adams, Dietz, Kannan, and Tong w17160 Smoking Policies and Birth Outcomes: Estimates From a New Era
Chaloupka and Grossman w5740 Price, Tobacco Control Policies and Youth Smoking
Markowitz, Cuellar, Conrad, and Grossman w16915 The Effects of Alcohol Policies in Reducing Entry Rates and Time Spent in Foster Care
Farrelly, Pechacek, and Chaloupka w8691 The Impact of Tobacco Control Program Expenditures on Aggregate Cigarette Sales: 1981-1998
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us