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Smoking cessation and weight gain: Evidence from China

Kevin Callison, Cuiping Schiman and Jeffrey C. Schiman

Economics & Human Biology, 2021, vol. 43, issue C

Abstract: Cigarette smoking has long been viewed as a means to control body weight. However, studies on the association between smoking cessation and weight gain have reported mixed findings and, notably, there is limited evidence among the Chinese population – the world’s largest smoker population. The extent to which smoking cessation is positively associated with body weight is of interest as excessive weight gain contributes to heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, musculoskeletal disorders, and some cancers. Additionally, concerns over weight gain may dissuade current smokers from quitting. Using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), we examine the association between smoking cessation and body weight in China. To account for the nonrandom nature of smoking cessation, our research design relies on within-individual variation in smoking status to remove the influence of time-invariant unobserved differences across individuals that are correlated with both cessation and body weight. We find that smoking cessation is associated with a modest increase in weight (0.329 kg, 0.51 % off the mean) and no significant changes in the prevalence of overweight or obesity.

Keywords: Smoking cessation; Body weight; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2021.101045

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