How does youth cigarette use respond to weak economic periods? Implications for the current economic crisis

Subst Use Misuse. 2012 Mar;47(4):375-82. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2011.631962. Epub 2011 Nov 28.


This paper examines whether youth cigarette use increases during weak economic periods (as do youth alcohol and drug use). The data come from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. With repeated measures over the 1997-2006 period, for almost 9,000 individuals, the samples include 30,000+ teenagers (15-19 years) and 30,000+ young adults (20-24 years). Logit models with state and year controls are estimated. The results indicate that teenagers and young adults increase cigarette use when the economy is weaker, implying that the current financial crisis has likely increased youth cigarette use relative to what it would have otherwise been.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Economic Recession*
  • Economics*
  • Humans
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Unemployment
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult