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Unemployment, insurance and smoking

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Using recent state-level data from the United States, this article examines new influences on cigarette demand. In particular, we uniquely focus on the effects of unemployment and health insurance coverage on smoking. Results show that higher cigarette prices, a lack of health insurance and restrictions on smoking at home, all lead to reduced smoking. On the other hand, literacy, income, unemployment, workplace smoking restrictions, smokeless tobacco taxes and tobacco-producing states do not seem to have an appreciable impact. The magnitude of the price elasticity of demand is greater than that found in the pre-MSA era. Policy implications are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Economics, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4200, USA

Publication date: 2008-10-01

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