NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Effects of Price and Access Laws on Teenage Smoking Initiation: A National Longitudinal Analysis

John A. Tauras, Patrick M. O'Malley, Lloyd D. Johnston

NBER Working Paper No. 8331
Issued in June 2001
NBER Program(s):   CH   HE

Over the past three decades a significant amount of economic research has established that increasing cigarette prices reduces cigarette smoking among both adults and adolescents. The consensus estimates for the price elasticity of adult demand from these studies fall in a narrow range of 0.3 to 0.5, suggesting that a 10% increase in the price of cigarettes would decrease adult consumption by 3%-5%. A smaller literature on youth responsiveness to cigarette prices has also emerged. A majority of these studies concluded that youth are up to three times as responsive to price as are adults. Only four econometric studies have attempted to model youth and young adult smoking initiation decisions. All four studies concluded that cigarette prices (or cigarette excise taxes) are insignificant determinants of smoking initiation. This study addresses the limitations of the previous studies on smoking initiation and examines the impact of cigarette prices and youth access laws on adolescent smoking initiation. Nationally representative longitudinal surveys of 8th and 10th graders as part of the Monitoring the Future project are employed in the analysis. State-specific prices and several measures of youth access restrictions are added to the survey data. Discrete-time hazard methods are used to model the probability of initiation. Contradicting the results of the four previous studies on smoking initiation, the results of this study clearly indicate that increases in the price of cigarettes would significantly reduce the number of adolescents who start smoking. The results are mixed with respect to youth access restrictions.

download in pdf format
   (225 K)

email paper

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.

This paper is available as PDF (225 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8331

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Lewit, Coate, and Grossman w0655 The Effects of Government Regulation on Teenage Smoking
Chaloupka and Pacula w6541 An Examination of Gender and Race Differences in Youth Smoking Responsiveness to Price and Tobacco Control Policies
Tauras and Chaloupka w6937 Price, Clean Indoor Air, and Cigarette Smoking: Evidence from the Longitudinal Data for Young Adults
Chaloupka, Peck, Tauras, Xu, and Yurekli w16287 Cigarette Excise Taxation: The Impact of Tax Structure on Prices, Revenues, and Cigarette Smoking
Carpenter and Cook w13046 Cigarette Taxes and Youth Smoking: New Evidence from National, State, & Local Youth Risk Behavior Surveys
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us