Public-Place Smoking Laws and Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS)
Public-place smoking restrictions are the most important non-price tobacco control measures worldwide, yet surprisingly little is known about their effects on exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). We study these laws in Canada using data with questions about respondents' ETS exposure in public and private places. In fixed-effects models we find these laws had no effects on smoking but induced large and statistically significant reductions in public-place ETS exposure, especially in bars and restaurants. We do not find significant evidence of ETS displacement to private homes. Our results indicate wide latitude for health improvements from banning smoking in public places.
We thank Marianne Bitler, Claire de Oliveira, Susumu Imai, Ian Irvine, Dean Lillard, Madeline Zavodny, three anonymous referees, and seminar participants at UC Berkeley ARE, UC Irvine, NBER, the 2010 American Society of Health Economists Conference, and the 2009 Canadian Economics Association meetings for useful comments. Some of the results in this paper are based on confidential data accessed at the Queen's RDC which are available in the Canadian Research Data Centres; interested readers can contact Warman for details on gaining access. A previous version of this paper circulated under the title "Public-Place Smoking Laws and Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) in Public Places." While the research and analysis are based on data from Statistics Canada, the opinions expressed do not represent the views of Statistics Canada nor do they necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research. All errors are our own.
Christopher Carpenter & Sabina Postolek & Casey Warman, 2011. "Public-Place Smoking Laws and Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS)," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 35-61, August. citation courtesy of