The complementarity of teen smoking and drinking

J Health Econ. 1999 Dec;18(6):769-93. doi: 10.1016/s0167-6296(99)00018-1.


Teen drinkers are over twice as likely as abstainers to smoke cigarettes. This empirical study provides evidence of a robust complementarity between these health behaviors by exploiting the "cross-price" effects. The results indicate that the movement away from minimum legal drinking ages of 18 reduced teen smoking participation by 3 to 5%. The corresponding instrumental variable estimates suggest that teen drinking roughly doubles the mean probability of smoking participation. Similarly, higher cigarette taxes and reductions in teen smoking are associated with a lower prevalence of teen drinking. However, the results which rely on cigarette taxes for identification are estimated imprecisely.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / economics
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Econometric
  • Probability
  • Public Policy
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / economics
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Taxes
  • United States / epidemiology