Dr. Colin Cannonier, assistant professor of economics in Belmont’s Jack C. Massey College of Business, recently presented a paper at the inaugural International Health Policy Conference (IHPC) held at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Political Science in London.
The co-authored paper titled “Smoking, Health and Academic Outcomes – Evidence from a Limited Smoking Campus Policy” uses a rich representative data set to analyze the impact of a smoking policy on smoking behavior, health and academic outcomes of students at a mid-sized public university in the southern United States.
Ordinary least squares estimates show a significant reduction in the propensity to smoke cigarettes and cigars following the introduction of the policy. The authors also employ propensity score matching methods to control for endogeneity that may be associated with unmeasurable factors correlated with the policy and the outcomes of interest. Their most conservative estimates show a 22 percent decline in smoking participation attributable to the use of cigarettes as well as declines in smoking demand. Although self-assessed health remains unaffected, the policy increases academic outcomes among students. Taken together, these findings have important policy implications for schools which are considering moving forward in instituting comprehensive smoking bans on college campuses.
The LSE IHPC seeks to bring together academic and policy-makers from a wide range of disciplines to take a multi-disciplinary approach to key health and social issues.