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Smoking, health and academic outcomes: evidence from a limited smoking campus policy

  • Colin Cannonier (a1), Monica G. Burke (a2) and Kathryn Steward (a3)


Although there is substantial literature on the impact of smoking laws, the number of studies that investigate the impact of such policies on college campuses is sparse. Using a rich data set from various waves of the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment survey for a mid-sized public university in the southern United States, we investigate a possible causal link between a limited smoking policy and smoking behaviours, health and academic outcomes among college students. We employ propensity score matching methods to control for endogeneity of unobservable characteristics. Our results show a significant reduction in the propensity to smoke cigarettes and cigars following the introduction of the policy. Further, we find that the policy has increased academic outcomes; however, it has no significant effect on student health. These findings have important policy implications for schools that are considering instituting comprehensive smoking bans on college.


Corresponding author

*Correspondence to: Colin Cannonier, Jack C. Massey College of Business, Belmont University, Nashville, TN 37212, USA. Email:


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Deceased 11 May 2017.



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Health Economics, Policy and Law
  • ISSN: 1744-1331
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