The Impact of Prices and Control Policies on Cigarette Smoking Among College Students

Published in: Contemporary Economic Policy, v. 19, no. 2, Apr. 2001, p. 135-149

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2000

by Christina Czart, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Frank J. Chaloupka, Henry Wechsler

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Smoking among youths and young adults rose throughout the 1990s. Numerous policies were enacted to try to reverse this trend. However, little is known about the impact these policies have on the smoking behavior of young adults. This article uses a dichotomous indicator of daily smoking participation in the past 30 days, an ordered measure representing the frequency of cigarette consumption, and a quasi-continuous measure of the number of cigarettes smoked per day on average to examine the impact of cigarette prices, clean indoor air laws, and campus-level smoking policies on the smoking behaviors of a 1997 cross section of college students. The results of the analysis indicate that higher cigarette prices are associated with lower smoking participation and lower levels of use among college student smokers. Local and state level clean indoor air restrictions have a cumulative impact on the level of smoking by current smokers. Complete smoking bans on college campuses are associated with lower levels of smoking among current smokers but have no significant impact on smoking participation. Bans on cigarette advertising on campus as well as bans on the sale of cigarettes on campus have no significant effect on the smoking behavior of college students.

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