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Title: Puff or Pass: An Empirical Analysis of the Effects of E-Cigarettes on Health Levels
Authors: Chrappa, Ralph
Advisors: Noonan, Kelly
Department: Economics
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: Due to the rising prevalence of e-cigarettes among adolescents, researchers are rushing to publish studies revealing the effects of using the devices on health outcomes. The current literature proves either inconclusive, suffers from several forms of biases, or uses too small of a sample size for external validity. Using a cross-sectional study and a longitudinal study allows me to perform both linear probability models and fixed effects regressions. The cross-sectional study, BRFSS, provides me with a large sample, while the longitudinal study, PATH, follows the same individuals over time. Using BRFSS, I also perform a difference-in-differences analysis in order to determine the effects of varying e-cigarette tax rates across states on consumption rates. The results from the cross-sectional linear probability models show that using e-cigarettes significantly lowers mental and physical health levels. The difference-in-differences analysis shows that e-cigarette taxes do not significantly affect consumption rates once states and time are controlled for. Finally, the fixed effects regressions show that using e-cigarettes significantly lowers mental and physical health levels. My analysis is performed on individuals ranging from 18 to 24 years old and uses data recorded from the past decade. While the effects of using e- cigarettes are less than the adverse health effects of using tobacco cigarettes, my analysis provides insight on the misconception that e-cigarettes do not cause any harmful effects. E- cigarettes can provide health benefits to individuals who are transitioning over from tobacco cigarettes, but will be a detriment to those who willingly pick up the habit when they are young.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Economics, 1927-2020

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