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Forum for Health Economics & Policy

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The Effects of Smoking Cessation on Weight Gain: New Evidence Using Workplace Smoking Bans

Jason M. Fletcher
  • Corresponding author
  • La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1225 Observatory Dr, Madison, WI 53706, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-11-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/fhep-2013-0004


Both tobacco use and obesity are among the most important and costly health challenges faced in developed countries. Unfortunately, they may be inversely linked. While policy interventions that have placed limits on tobacco use have increased substantially over time, one unintended consequence may be to increase obesity rates. Issues of selection and unobserved heterogeneity make it difficult to empirically assess the relationship between the two health outcomes. Additionally, there may be heterogeneous policy effects by cessation cause – smoking bans or medical treatments or tobacco prices. This paper focuses on the effects of a rapidly expanding policy by using within-individual differences in exposure to workplace smoking bans to estimate the impact of smoking cessation on weight gain using a large study of over 5000 White and Black respondents followed since 1986. Findings suggest that individuals affected by the smoking bans gained more weight in the short-term than suggested by OLS estimates.

Keywords: smoking cessation; weight gain; workplace smoking restrictions


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About the article

Corresponding author: Jason M. Fletcher, La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1225 Observatory Dr, Madison, WI 53706, USA, e-mail: jmfletcher@wisc.edu

Published Online: 2014-11-07

Published in Print: 2014-09-01

Citation Information: Forum for Health Economics and Policy, Volume 17, Issue 2, Pages 105–129, ISSN (Online) 1558-9544, ISSN (Print) 2194-6191, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/fhep-2013-0004.

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