Cigarette Taxes, Smoking, and Exercise
The primary purpose of this study is to analyze whether cigarette taxes have an effect on exercise behavior. The authors creates a conceptual framework that describes how cigarette taxes could effects exercising habits and test its implications empirically using survey data from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Preliminary results indicates cigarette taxes are negatively correlated with exercise behavior.
Past studies on cigarette taxes have primarily been focused on its effect on reducing smoking. Some studies have also found a relationship between cigarette taxes and obesity rates. However this is the first study that is aimed at analyzing the effects of cigarette taxes on exercise behavior.
Theoretical framework used in this study is based on a utility function with the determinants ‘health’, ‘exercise’, ‘smoking’ and a composite good. The person is assumed to have positive utility gains from all the variables except for exercising. Furthermore, ‘health’ is a function of both exercise and smoking, with exercise having a positive impact on the health function. On the other hand, smoking has a negative effect on health, but if a person considers ‘health’ to be weight management alone, then smoking also have a positive impact on the ‘health’ function, since smoking is thought to reduce the appetite for food. In other words, if a person considers health to be the ‘overall health’ then smoking has a negative effect. But if a person considers health to be just weight management then smoking has a positive effect. This brings an ambiguity, which prevents the authors from theoretically discerning the effect of cigarette taxes on exercise. It should also be noted that the theoretical framework is based on the person’s assessment of costs and benefits not the actual....