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The relationship between smoking, quitting smoking and obesity in Australia: a seemingly unrelated probit approach

Au, Nicole and Hauck, Katharina and Hollingsworth, Bruce (2013) The relationship between smoking, quitting smoking and obesity in Australia: a seemingly unrelated probit approach. Applied Economics, 45 (16). pp. 2191-2199. ISSN 0003-6846

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Smoking and obesity are two leading causes of preventable death. Further understanding of the relationship between these two risk factors can assist in reducing avoidable morbidity and mortality. This study investigates the empirical association between obesity and the propensity to smoke and to quit smoking, using a Seemingly Unrelated (SUR) probit approach that takes into consideration the potential for reverse causality and unobserved heterogeneity. Using Australian health survey data, this article demonstrates the usefulness of the SUR probit approach in generating information on the relationship between unobserved factors influencing both smoking behaviour and obesity, and in providing estimates of the conditional probabilities of each risk factor. Results suggest the two risk factors are not independent. The presence, size and direction of correlation between the unobserved factors are found to vary by smoking behaviour and by gender. Estimates of conditional probabilities demonstrate smokers have a lower probability of obesity, particularly among females, and ex-smokers have a higher probability of obesity, particularly among males. These findings suggest that health policies targeted at one risk factor may have unintended implications for the other.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Applied Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: obesity ; body mass index ; smoking ; smoking cessation ; seemingly unrelated probit
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
ID Code: 55198
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 19 Jun 2012 15:03
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2017 18:13
Identification Number:

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