Fetal Exposure to Cigarette Smoking and Adult and Old Age Mortality: Examining the Effects of the Introduction of State Level Cigarette Taxation 1921-1940 Using Linked Full-Count Census and Mortality Records

Jonas Helgertz, University of Minnesota/Lund University
John Robert Warren, University of Minnesota

This paper examines how exposure to cigarette smoking while in utero influences an individual’s adult and old age health, through mortality risk. We contribute by exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in exposure to smoking during pregnancy induced through the introduction of state level cigarette taxation in the United States, investigating its effect on adult and old age mortality. Taxation was introduced gradually across U.S. states from 1921, and this paper will focus on the cohorts born 1919-1940. Despite the time period examined being characterized by increasing smoking prevalence, the expectation is that children who were in utero at the time of the introduction of state level cigarette taxation would have enjoyed a temporary reduction in exposure to smoking, both directly through the mother and indirectly, through the mother’s second hand smoking. The paper will rely on full-count Census data from 1930 and 1940, linked using state-of-the-art methods of probabilistic record linkage to the Social Security Death Master File (SSDMF) and to the NUMIDENT, from which death records are obtained.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 219. Kinship and SES Effects on Adult Mortality and Longevity