Fetal Exposure to Cigarette Smoking and Adult and Old-Age Mortality: Examining the Effects of the Introduction of State-Level Cigarette Taxation 1921–1940 Using Linked Full-Count Census and Mortality Records

Jonas Helgertz , University of Minnesota/Lund University
John Robert Warren, University of Minnesota

The paper examines how exposure to cigarette smoking while in utero influences an individual’s adult and old age health, through mortality risk. While a large literature has examined the association between fetal exposure to smoking during pregnancy and negative health effects during childhood and early adulthood, linking this exposure later life health emerge as considerably less studied. This paper aims to contribute by exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in exposure to cigarette smoking during pregnancy induced through the introduction of cigarette taxation across states in the United States between 1921-1940, investigating its effect on adult and old age mortality. This is done using full-count U.S. Census data from 1930 and 1940, linked using state-of-the-art methods of probabilistic record linkage to death records from the Social Security Death Master File (SSDMF) and to the NUMIDENT.

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 Presented in Session 44. Studying Health and Mortality Using Linked Data