A Cohort Analysis about the Effect of Educational Attainment on Smoking Behaviors in China

Tian Fu, Pennsylvania State University

China owns the largest population of smokers in the world today, but researches on how to reduce tobacco use in this country are still scarce. This paper examines the correlation between educational attainment and smoking behaviors in China, and tries to discover how formal education could contribute to the prevention of smoking. Three research questions are addressed. (1) What is the effect of educational attainment on individuals’ smoking behaviors in China? (2) How does such effect vary in different age cohorts? And (3) what is the main causal mechanism through which education matters? By analyzing data from Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in China in 2010, we can conclude that educational attainment has a significantly negative effect on smoking behaviors in adults in China, and such effect is strongest in young group. Education takes such effect mainly by increasing people’s knowledge about smoking and enhancing their anti-smoking attitudes.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Health of Women, Children, and Families