The hazard of starting smoking: estimates from a split population duration model

J Health Econ. 1994 Jul;13(2):213-30. doi: 10.1016/0167-6296(94)90024-8.


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 finds no evidence that higher cigarette prices would have a significant impact on teenage decisions to pick up the smoking habit.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Community Health Planning / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Male
  • Models, Economic
  • Proportional Hazards Models*
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / economics*
  • Smoking / ethnology
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology