Title

The Trade off between Smoking and Obestiy

Presenter Information

Erica Birk

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Obesity in the US has risen by 11% since 1995. At the same time, smoking prevalence in the United States has decreased by 8%--a reduction which can be contributed, at least partially, to the increase in the excise tax placed on cigarettes. Because cigarettes act as both an appetite suppressant and a metabolic stimulant, a reduction in smoking could be a contributing factor to an increase in the US obesity rate. This study looks at the relationship between the cost of cigarettes and obesity levels in the US by asking the question, “Has an increase in the price of cigarettes through an excise tax contributed to the rise in obesity in the US?” Previous literature on this topic has resulted in conflicting conclusions, i.e., finding both positive and negative relationships. This study uses a regression model that isolates the effect of cigarette costs on smokers versus non-smokers with lagged-time effects to determine the effect of an increase in cigarette cost in the previous period. Preliminary results show a statistically significant positive relationship between the cost of cigarettes and the average smoker’s individual body mass index. This implies that raising the cost of cigarettes may increase health care costs related to obesity - which brings into question the effectiveness of tax policy in the sense that although an increase in taxes curbs smoking rates in the US, health care costs may be partially transferred rather than fully absorbed.

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Apr 13th, 3:00 PM Apr 13th, 4:00 PM

The Trade off between Smoking and Obestiy

UC Ballroom

Obesity in the US has risen by 11% since 1995. At the same time, smoking prevalence in the United States has decreased by 8%--a reduction which can be contributed, at least partially, to the increase in the excise tax placed on cigarettes. Because cigarettes act as both an appetite suppressant and a metabolic stimulant, a reduction in smoking could be a contributing factor to an increase in the US obesity rate. This study looks at the relationship between the cost of cigarettes and obesity levels in the US by asking the question, “Has an increase in the price of cigarettes through an excise tax contributed to the rise in obesity in the US?” Previous literature on this topic has resulted in conflicting conclusions, i.e., finding both positive and negative relationships. This study uses a regression model that isolates the effect of cigarette costs on smokers versus non-smokers with lagged-time effects to determine the effect of an increase in cigarette cost in the previous period. Preliminary results show a statistically significant positive relationship between the cost of cigarettes and the average smoker’s individual body mass index. This implies that raising the cost of cigarettes may increase health care costs related to obesity - which brings into question the effectiveness of tax policy in the sense that although an increase in taxes curbs smoking rates in the US, health care costs may be partially transferred rather than fully absorbed.