• Journal Article

Have efforts to reduce smoking really contributed to the obesity epidemic?

Citation

Nonnemaker, J., Finkelstein, E., Engelen, M., Hoerger, T., & Farrelly, M. (2009). Have efforts to reduce smoking really contributed to the obesity epidemic? Economic Inquiry, 47(2), 366-376. DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.2008.00147.x

Abstract

Two of the most notable trends in public health over the past 30 yr are the reductions in smoking rates and the rapid rise in obesity rates. Several studies have investigated the relationship between these trends but have drawn different conclusions. In this article, we revisit this issue, attempting to clarify the prior discrepant results. Overall, we find no support for the claim that rising cigarette taxes have significantly contributed to rising obesity rates. Instead, we find only a moderately sized effect among former smokers. (JEL I12)