Dynamic effects of smoking bans on addictive behavior among young adults

Produced by: 
University of Sao Paulo
Available from: 
February 2022
Paper author(s): 
Camila Steffens
Paula Pereda
Education - Health

Current evidence is still mixed regarding the effectiveness of smoking bans for reducing firsthand smoking. We provide novel insights about their effects on young adults’ smoking prevalence, initiation and cessation. We also highlight the importance of considering enforcement and addiction levels when evaluating these policies. Exploiting the staggered roll-out of smoking bans across Brazilian capitals within a difference-in-differences framework, we find that they reduced smoking prevalence by at least 9% but only when strongly enforced. The effect is primarily explained by cessation among youths with low levels of addiction. We find no impacts on initiation, which could be partly explained by the fact that smoking initiation among Brazilians typically happens before the legal age to purchase tobacco products.


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