Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #26

Who Smokes and How Much? - Empirical Evidence for Germany

by Silja Göhlmann

RWI, 08/2007, 27 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-021-3



Smoking is associated with high economic costs, because it increases the risk and incidence of several illnesses. A promising instrument to reduce these costs is to decrease tobacco consumption by developing target group-oriented non-smoking campaigns. However, this purpose requires knowledge about the characteristics of the target group. Utilizing data from three waves of the Mikrozensus, this paper portrays the smoking population in Germany to ascertain the socio-demographic characteristics which are associated with (i) smoking prevalence and (ii) the conditional demand for cigarettes. The empirical results indicate that a target group-oriented non-smoking campaign should focus primarily on individuals with a lower level of education and income, singles, divorced or widowed individuals and unemployed, because these sub-groups of the population exhibit the highest smoking prevalence. Moreover, individuals with a lower level of education as well as singles, divorced or widowed individuals also tend to smoke more.

JEL-Classification: I12

Keywords: Smoking; socio-demographic characteristics; Mikrozensus