The Kids are Alright

Today's kids take less risks than the kids of the early 90s.

Why Have Smoking Bans Caught On So Easily?

Henry Farrell at the Crooked Timber blog argues that smoking bans succeed in large part because prevailing societal norms about smoking - e.g. "That Irish people can smoke in pubs to their hearts' content, and that others will just have to put up with it" - were much weaker than we thought.

"Our Rollers Are Worried"

The new tax hike on tobacco products went into effect yesterday. There are few better examples for Econ 1, and the players involved clearly understand the issues. For cigars, my smoke of choice, the tax on good domestically produced cigars rises from 5 to 40 cents. “Many of our rollers are worried,” Hector Ventura, operations […]


Yesterday my 7-year-old daughter, Anya, was wearing a T-shirt I’d never seen before. It was a Barack Obama shirt. I asked where it came from. She said that someone gave it to her back in the fall, after he was elected. But why finally wear it now? Well, the kids are on spring break and […]

By Your Own Emissions

| We reported a while back that the true private mortality cost of smoking a pack of cigarettes is close to $222. It turns out smoking has a serious environmental impact as well. Assuming all 5.5 trillion cigarettes produced around the world each year get smoked, smokers produce 84,878 tons of particulate air pollution annually […]

Which Is Worse: Fewer Pubs or More Unhealthy Citizens?

Patrons at Cecil’s Jazz Club in West Orange, N.J., savored one of the last nights for smoking in bars and restaurants. (Photo: Marko Georgiev/The New York Times) A journalist writing for the Financial Times complains that Britain’s indoor smoking ban has resulted in more pubs closing and a decline in beer sales of 10 percent. […]

Do Smoking Bans Save Lives?

According to a new study, a statewide workplace smoking ban in Massachusetts may be responsible for a steep drop in heart-attack deaths since 2004. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which produced the study, says the biggest health gains came among those people the ban saved from regular exposure to second-hand smoke. The rate of […]

Are Ex-Smokers Even More Likely to Gain Weight Than Previously Thought?

Photo: miss pupik We’ve blogged several times here about the rise in American obesity and its various causes. From one of those earlier posts: Why has the U.S. obesity rate risen so much? Many, many answers to this question have been offered, most of them having to do with changes in diet and lifestyle (and, […]

How One Smoker Quit

A few weeks ago, we posted an item about an ad executive in Australia named James Hurman who auctioned off his smoking habit, agreeing to pay a steep fine (about $800) for every cigarette he smoked after the auction closed. He wound up selling the contract, he writes, “for NZ $300 [about US $240] to […]

Meet a Nym

I recently returned from a cool conference in Athens and I was surprised to see the following poster for Silk Cut cigarettes plastered all around the city. Photo: Hetal Thaker, Product Manager-Dimensions, SPSS Inc. We see a bone propping open an alligator’s jaw and a bulldog looking on intently with the slogan “Must-have Silk” written […]