The complementarity of teen smoking and drinking


Thomas Dee

Year of Publication: 
Journal of Health Economics

Teen drinkers are over twice as likely as abstainers to smoke cigarettes. This empirical study provides evidence of a robust complementarity between these health behaviors by exploiting the “cross-price” effects. The results indicate that the movement away from minimum legal drinking ages of 18 reduced teen smoking participation by 3 to 5%. The corresponding instrumental variable estimates suggest that teen drinking roughly doubles the mean probability of smoking participation. Similarly, higher cigarette taxes and reductions in teen smoking are associated with a lower prevalence of teen drinking. However, the results which rely on cigarette taxes for identification are estimated imprecisely.

APA Citation

Dee, T. (1999). The complementarity of teen smoking and drinking. Journal of Health Economics, 18(6), 767-773.

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