American Economic Review: Vol. 89 No. 4 (September 1999)


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Do Workplace Smoking Bans Reduce Smoking?

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Evans, William N., Matthew C. Farrelly, and Edward Montgomery. 1999. "Do Workplace Smoking Bans Reduce Smoking?" American Economic Review, 89(4): 728-747.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.4.728


In recent years workplace smoking policies have become increasingly prevalent and restrictive. Using data from two large-scale national surveys, we investigate whether these policies reduce smoking. Our estimates suggest that workplace bans reduce smoking prevalence by 5 percentage points and daily consumption among smokers by 10 percent. Although workers with better health habits are more likely to work at firms with smoking bans, estimates from systems of equations indicate that these results are not subject to an omitted variables bias. The rapid increase in bans can explain all of the recent drop in smoking among workers relative to nonworkers.

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Evans, William N. (U MD)
Farrelly, Matthew C. (Research Triangle Institute)
Montgomery, Edward (U MD)

JEL Classifications

I18: Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
I12: Health Production
J28: Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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