Eastern Economic Journal

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 190–210 | Cite as

Will a Decline in Smoking Increase Body Weights? Evidence from Belarus

  • Aliaksandr Amialchuk
  • Kateryna Bornukova
  • Mir M. Ali


Using population samples from Belarus for the years 1996–2008, we estimate the effect of the number of cigarettes smoked per day on body mass index (BMI) and on the probability of being overweight or obese and stratify the estimates by the length of the smoking career. We instrument cigarette smoking with cigarette prices and group-specific smoking rates. We find a significant negative effect of smoking on BMI and the probability of overweight and obesity across various specifications. The negative effect of smoking increases in magnitude at the higher percentiles of the BMI distribution and with the length of smoking career.


smoking BMI overweight obesity Belarus 




  1. Albanes, D., D.Y. Jones, M.S. Micozzi, and M.E. Mattson. 1987. Associations Between Smoking and Body Weight in the US Population: Analysis of NHANES II. American Journal of Public Health 77(4): 439–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Angrist J.D., and J.-S. Pischke. 2009. Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist’s Companion. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Arcidiacono P., S. Holger, and F. Sloan. 2007. Living Rationally Under the Volcano: An Empirical Analysis of Heavy Drinking and Smoking. International Economic Review, 48(1): 37–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arif, A.A., and J.E. Rohrer. 2005. Patterns of Alcohol Drinking and Its Association with Obesity: Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1988–1994. BMC Public Health, 5: 126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Audrain-McGovern, J., and N.L. Benowitz. 2011. Cigarette Smoking, Nicotine, and Body Weight. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 90(1): 164–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bask, M., and M. Melkersson. 2004. Rationally Addicted to Drinking and Smoking? Applied Economics, 36(4): 373–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baum, C.L. 2009. The Effects of Cigarette Cost on BMI and Obesity. Health Economics, 18(1): 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Belarusian Household Survey of Incomes and Expenditures (BHSIE). 2012. National Statistical Committee, Ministry of Statistics and Analysis of the Republic of Belarus.Google Scholar
  9. Canoy, D., N. Wareham, R. Luben, A. Welch, S. Bingham, N. Day and K.T. Khaw. 2005. Cigarette Smoking and Fat Distribution in 21,828 British Men and Women: A Population-Based Study. Obesity Research, 13(8): 1466–1475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carney, R.M. and A.P. Goldberg. 1984. Weight Gain After Cessation of Smoking: A Possible Role for Adipose-Tissue Lipoprotein Lipase. New England Journal of Medicine, 310: 614–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cawley, J. 2004. The Impact of Obesity on Wages. The Journal of Human Resources, 39(2): 451–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cawley, J., S. Markowitz and J. Taurus. 2004. Lighting Up and Slimming Down: The Effects of Body Weight and Cigarette Prices on Adolescent Smoking Initiation. Journal of Health Economics, 23(2): 293–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chinn, S. et al. 2005. Smoking Cessation, Lung Function, and Weight Gain: A Follow-Up Study. Lancet, 365(9471):1629–1635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chiolero, A., I. Jacot-Sadowski, D. Faeh, F. Paccaud and J. Cornuz. 2007. Association of Cigarettes Smoked Daily with Obesity in a General European Adult Population. Obesity Research, 15(5): 1311–1318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chou, S.-Y., M. Grossman and H. Saffer. 2004. An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Journal of Health Economics, 23(3): 565–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clair, C. et al. 2011. Dose-Dependent Positive Association Between Cigarette Smoking, Abdominal Obesity and Body Fat: Cross-Sectional Data from a Population-Based Survey. BMC Public Health, 11: 23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cockerham, W.C., B.P. Hinotea and P. Abbott. 2006. Psychological Distress, Gender, and Health Lifestyles in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine. Social Science and Medicine, 63(9): 2381–2394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Courtemanche, C. 2009. Rising Cigarette Prices and Rising Obesity: Coincidence or Unintended Consequence? Journal of Health Economics, 28(4): 781–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dutton, D.J., and L. McLaren. 2014. The Usefulness of Corrected Body Mass Index Vs. Self-reported Body Mass Index: Comparing the Population Distributions, Sensitivity, Specificity, and Predictive Utility of Three Correction Equations Using Canadian Population-Based Data. BMC Public Health, 14: 430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ericksen, M., J. Mackay and H. Ross. 2012. The Tobacco Atlas, Fourth Edition. Atlanta, GA: The American Cancer Society, Inc.Google Scholar
  21. Fang, H., M.M. Ali and J.A. Rizzo. 2009. Does Smoking Affect Body Weight and Obesity in China? Economics and Human Biology, 7(3): 334–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ferrara, C.M., M. Kumar, B. Nicklas, S. McCrone and A.P. Goldberg. 2001. Weight Gain and Adipose Tissue Metabolism After Smoking Cessation in Women. International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders, 25(9): 1322–1326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Flegal, K.M. 2007. The Effects of Changes in Smoking Prevalence on Obesity Prevalence in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 97(8): 1510–1514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. French, S.A. and R.W. Jeffery. 1995. Weight Concerns and Smoking: A Literature Review. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 17(3): 234–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gilmore, A.B., M. McKee and Rose, R. 2001. Prevalence and Determinants of Smoking in Belarus: A National Household Survey, 2000. European Journal of Epidemiology, 17(3): 245–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Grigoriev, P. and O. Grigorieva. 2011. Self-Perceived Health in Belarus: Evidence from the Income and Expenditures of Households Survey. Demographic Research, 24(23): 551–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gruber, J. and M. Frakes. 2006. Does Falling Smoking Lead to Rising Obesity? Journal of Health Economics, 25(2): 183–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Grunberg, N.E. 1985. Nicotine, Cigarette Smoking, and Body Weight. British Journal of Addiction, 80(4): 369–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hagenaars, A.J., M.K. De Vos and M.A. Zaidi. 1994. Poverty Statistics in the Late 1980s: Research Based on Micro-data, Study carried Out for Eurostat. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Community.Google Scholar
  30. Haslam, D.W. and W.P. James. 2005. Obesity. Lancet, 366(9492): 1197–1209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Henrich, J., S.J. Heine and A. Norenzayan. 2010. The Weirdest People in the World? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(2-3): 61–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hofstetter, A., Y. Schutz, E. Jequier and J. Wahren. 1986. Increased 24-Hour Energy Expenditure in Cigarette Smokers. New England Journal of Medicine, 314(2): 79–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Imbens, G.W. and J.D. Angrist. 1994. Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects. Econometrica, 62(2): 467–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Janzon, E., B. Hedblad, G. Berglund and G. Engström. 2004. Changes in Blood Pressure and Body Weight Following Smoking Cessation in Women. Journal of Internal Medicine, 255(2): 266–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Klesges, R.C., A.W. Meyers, L.M. Klesges and M.E. La Vasque. 1989. Smoking, Body Weight, and Their Effects on Smoking Behavior: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature. Psychological Bulletin, 106(2): 204–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Klesges, R.C., S.E. Winders, A.W. Meyers, L.H. Eck, K.D. Ward, C.M. Hultquist, J.W. Ray, and W.R. Shadish. 1997. How Much Weight Gain Occurs Following Smoking Cessation? A Comparison of Weight Gain Using Both Continuous and Point Prevalence Abstinence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65(2): 286–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Knai, C., M. Suhrcke and T. Lobstein. 2007. Obesity in Eastern Europe: An Overview of Its Health and Economic Implications. Economics and Human Biology, 5(3): 392–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Koenker, R. and K.F. Hallock. 2001. Quantile Regression. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 15(4): 143–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lee, S. 2007. Endogeneity in Quantile Regression Models: A Control Function Approach. Journal of Econometrics, 141(2): 1131–1158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lehnert, T., D. Sonntag, A. Konnopka, S. Riedel-Heller, HH. König. 2013. Economic Costs of Overweight and Obesity. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 27(2): 105–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lukasiewicz, E., L.I. Mennen, S. Bertrais, N. Arnault, P. Preziosi, P. Galan, and S. Hercberg, 2005. Alcohol Intake in Relation to Body Mass Index and Waist-to-Hip Ratio: The Importance of Type of Alcoholic Beverage. Public Health Nutrition, 8(3): 315–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lycett, D., M. Munafò, E. Johnstone, M. Murphy and P. Aveyard. 2011. Associations Between Weight Change Over 8 years and Baseline Body Mass Index in a Cohort of Continuing and Quitting Smokers. Addiction, 106(1):188–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mackay, D.F., L. Gray and J.P. Pell. 2013. Impact of Smoking and Smoking Cessation on Overweight and Obesity: Scotland-Wide, Cross-Sectional Study on 40,036 Participants. BMC Public Health, 15(13): 348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Milanovic, B. 1998. Income, Inequality, and Poverty during the Transition from Planned to Market Economy. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  45. Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus. 2001. Decree No. 385.Google Scholar
  46. Mizoue, T., R. Ueda, N. Tokui, Y. Hino and T. Yoshimura. 1998. Body Mass Decrease After Initial Gain Following Smoking Cessation. International Journal of Epidemiology, 27(6): 984–989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Morris, S. 2007. The Impact of Obesity on Employment. Labour Economics, 14(3), 413–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Must, A., J. Spadano, E.H. Coakley, A.E. Field, G. Colditz and W.H. Dietz. 1999. The Disease Burden Associated with Overweight and Obesity. Journal of the American Medical Association, 282(16): 1523–1529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus. 2011. Prices In The Republic of Belarus, Statistical book, edited by I.S.Kangro. Belarus: National Statistical Committee of the Republic of BelarusGoogle Scholar
  50. Nevo, A., and A.M. Rosen. 2012. Identification With Imperfect Instruments. Review of Economics and Statistics, 94(3): 659-671.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Nonnemaker, J., E. Finkelstein, M. Engelen, T. Hoerger and M. Farrelly, 2009. Have efforts to reduce smoking really contributed to the obesity epidemic? Economic Inquiry, 47(2): 366–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. O’Hara, P, J.E. Connett, W.W. Lee, M. Nides, R. Murray and R. Wise. 1998. Early and Late Weight Gain Following Smoking Cessation in the Lung Health Study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 148(9): 821–830.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Perkins, K.A. 1992. Metabolic Effects of Cigarette Smoking. Journal of Applied Physiology, 72(2): 401–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rashad, I. and M. Grossman. 2004. The Economics of Obesity. Public Interest, 156: 104–112.Google Scholar
  55. Rivers, D. and Q.H. Vuong. 1988. Limited Information Estimators and Exogeneity Test for Simultaneous Probit Models. Journal of Econometrics, 39(3): 347–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Smith, R.J. and R.W. Blundell. 1986. An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply. Econometrica, 54(3): 679–685.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tekin, E. and S. Markowitz. 2008. The Relationship Between Suicidal Behavior and Productive Activities of Young Adults. Southern Economics Journal, 75(2): 300–331.Google Scholar
  58. Terza, J.V., A. Basu, and P.J. Rathouz. 2008. Two-Stage Residual Inclusion Estimation: Addressing Endogeneity in Health Econometric Modeling. Journal of Health Economics, 27(3): 531–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wehby, G.L., A. Jugessur, L.M. Moreno, J.C. Murray, A. Wilcox and R.T. Lie. 2012. Smoking and Body Weight: Evidence Using Genetic Instruments. Economics and Human Biology, 10(2): 113–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wehby, G. L., C. J. Courtemanche. 2012. The heterogeneity of the cigarette price effect on body mass index. Journal of Health Economics, 31(5): 719–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Williamson, D.F., J. Madans, R.F. Anda, J.C. Kleinman, G.A. Giovino and T. Byers. 1991. Smoking Cessation and Severity of Weight Gain in a National Cohort. New England Journal of Medicine, 324(11): 739–745.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wooldridge, J. M. 2006. Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.Google Scholar
  63. World Health Organization. 2016. Global Health Observatory (GHO) Data. Prevalence of Tobacco Use.; Overweight and Obesity.
  64. Xu, F., X.M. Yin and Y. Wang. 2007. The Association Between Amount of Cigarettes Smoked and Overweight, Central Obesity Among Chinese Adults in Nanjing China. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 16(2): 240–247.Google Scholar
  65. Yeh, H.C., B.B. Duncan, M.I. Schmidt, N.Y. Wang and F.L. Brancati. 2010. Smoking, Smoking Cessation, and Risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Cohort Study. Annals of Internal Medicine, 152(1): 10–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© EEA 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aliaksandr Amialchuk
    • 1
  • Kateryna Bornukova
    • 2
  • Mir M. Ali
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ToledoToledoUSA
  2. 2.Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach CenterKievUkraine
  3. 3.Analysis & Services Research BranchSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Services AdministrationRockvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations