Factors that influence the likelihood of smoking initiation in Canada

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University of New Brunswick


Duration analysis and a few different econometric functional forms are used to examine when people smoke a whole cigarette for the first time. This information is reported in the Survey on Smoking in Canada which was collected in 1994 and 1995 in part due to an abrupt drop in cigarette taxes and other attempts to close illegal markets for this substance. The findings suggest that the closing of smuggling markets had a stronger effect than the abrupt drop in price. The results also suggest that after statistically controlling for variation in other factors the hazard of smoking for the first time is particularly high for the age groups 12 to 15 and 16 to 19. Furthermore people with higher education are less likely to initiate smoking and males are more likely to initiate smoking than females.