The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

449. Joni Hersch, Alison F. Del Rossi, and W. Kip Viscusi, Voter References and State Regulation of Smoking, 11/2003; subsequently published in Economic Inquiry, Vol. 42, No. 3, July 2004, 455-468.

Abstract: Voters' preferences for smoking restrictions in restaurants, bars, malls, indoor sporting events, and hospitals are consistent with state-level restrictions on smoking in each of these public areas. This analysis is based on constructed measures of political pressure that take into account both individual preferences and voting behavior. Although smokers are less likely to vote than nonsmokers, their lower voting rate does not substantially influence the probability that a state has a restriction. Other factors, such as tobacco's role in the state economy and state income, are rarely influential.

To obtain a copy of this paper, please contact Joni Hersch at or 617-495-2832. This paper has also been posted on the SSRN website at: This paper will be forthcoming in Economic Inquiry.