The Smoking Gun: Friends influence your smoking and quitting

New research by Professor Edward Glaeser (director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government) and David Cutler (economics professor at Harvard) shows that people are more likely to smoke when surrounded by smokers.  But positively, it shows a multiplier effect of smoking bans: those who quit smoking in turn influence their friends and spouses to stop smoking.

More specifically, “individuals whose spouse faced a workplace smoking ban were less likely to smoke themselves. The estimates suggest a 40 percent reduction in the probability of being an individual smoking if a spouse quits,” the authors write.   Cutler and Glaeser think that policy makers should consider these multiplier benefits when they are considering enacting smoking bans.

For more detail you can read their Kennedy School Working Paper, “Social Interactions and Smoking.”

I posted earlier on research on the sociological dynamics of obesity, depression, and some prior evidence on smoking (read further down in this link).

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