The American Economic Journal: Applied Economics just published this article finding that a $1 cigarette tax reduces childho0d sick days at school by 10%. This demonstrates a strong link between second-hand smoke and public health, and how responsive cigarette demand is to a tobacco tax.
|(6) Does Early Life Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Permanently Harm Childhood Welfare? Evidence from Cigarette Tax Hikes|
|Evidence suggests that excise taxes on tobacco improve fetal health. However, it remains unknown if smoke exposure in early life causes lasting harm to children. I find that in utero exposure to a dollar increase in the state cigarette tax causes a 10 percent decrease in sick days from school and a 4.7 percent decrease in having two or more doctor visits. I present additional evidence for decreases in hospitalizations and asthma. This supports the hypothesis that exposure to cigarette smoke in utero and infancy carries significant medium-term costs, and that excise taxes can lead to lasting intergenerational improvements in well-being.|
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