The hazard of starting smoking: Estimates from a split population duration model
Publication Source

Journal of Health Economics

Journal article
The Americas
Economy status
High-income economies

Understanding the determinants of the hazard of starting smoking is of great importance in developing policy to reduce the number of smokers. This paper develops a split population duration model of the decision to start smoking. Using data from the 1978 and 1979 Smoking Supplements to the National Health Interview Survey, we find some evidence that lifetime educational attainment, gender, and race are important determinants of both whether and when the smoking habit is initiated. The study linds no evidence that higher cigarette prices would have a significant impact on teenage decisions to pick up the smoking habit.