One Last Puff? Public Smoking Bans and Smoking Behavior

Thomas Siedler, Silke Anger, Michael Kvasnicka
DIW Berlin and University of Essex, Germany

This paper investigates the short-term effects of public smoking bans on individual smoking behavior. In 2007 and 2008, state-level smoking bans were introduced gradually in all of Germany’s sixteen federal states. We exploit this variation in the timing of state bans to identify the effect that smoke-free policies had on individuals’ smoking propensity and intensity. Using rich longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, our difference-in-differences estimates show that the introduction of smoke-free legislation in Germany did not change average smoking behavior in the population. Individuals who were exposed to public smoking bans were neither less likely to smoke nor did they smoke less. However, our estimates point to important heterogeneous effects. Specifically, we find the young, singles, and those living in urban areas both to be less likely to smoke and to smoke less intensively following the introduction of public smoking bans.

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