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Tobacco sales prohibition and teen smoking

Armando Meier (), Reto Odermatt and Alois Stutzer

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2021, vol. 188, issue C, 998-1014

Abstract: We evaluate one of the most prevalent prohibitory policies: banning the sales of tobacco to teens. We exploit the staggered introduction of sales bans across Switzerland and analyze rich data from 2001 to 2016. The estimates do not indicate an immediate or long-run systematic reduction in the overall prevalence of smoking because of sales bans. We also examine a range of behavioral mechanisms that are key to understand the consequences of prohibitory policies such as habit formation, social appeal of smoking, circumvention behavior, or risk perceptions. Among others, we find that teens circumvent the bans by getting cigarettes from peers. Moreover, teens consider smokers less cool when a sales ban is in place, but they do not consider smoking more dangerous.

Keywords: Prohibition; Tobacco sales bans; Youth smoking; Attitudes toward smoking; Tobacco prevention (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D12 I12 I18 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.06.002

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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