Do State Expenditures on Tobacco Control Programs Decrease Use of Tobacco Products Among College Students? (Working Paper)

The objective of this paper is to investigate the effects of state tobacco control program expenditures on individual-level tobacco use behaviors among young adults. Data come from the 1993, 1997, 1999 and 2001 waves of the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS). Our findings indicate that a higher level of state spending on tobacco control programs is associated with a statistically significant increase in the probability that smokers report at least one attempt to quit smoking in the past year, as well as increases in the number of attempts to quit in the past year among smokers. We also find that higher state expenditures on tobacco control programs are associated with reductions in the prevalence of smokeless tobacco and cigar use among college students. We do not find, however, any statistically significant association between state tobacco control program expenditures and the overall prevalence and intensity of cigarette use among college students, a finding that is at odds with previous research on high school students.

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September 2006

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