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Individuals with long-term illness, disability or infirmity are more likely to smoke than healthy controls: an instrumental variable analysis

Zhou, Xingzuo, Li, Yiang, Zhu, Tianning and Xu, Yiran (2023) Individuals with long-term illness, disability or infirmity are more likely to smoke than healthy controls: an instrumental variable analysis. Frontiers in Public Health, 10. ISSN 2296-2565

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Identification Number: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.1015607

Abstract

Despite the prevalence of smoking cessation programs and public health campaigns, individuals with long-term illness, disability, or infirmity have been found to smoke more often than those without such conditions, leading to worsening health. However, the available literature has mainly focused on the association between long-term illness and smoking, which might suffer from the possible bidirectional influence, while few studies have examined the potential causal effect of long-term illness on smoking. This gap in knowledge can be addressed using an instrumental variable analysis that uses a third variable as an instrument between the endogenous independent and dependent variables and allows the identification of the direction of causality under the discussed assumptions. Our study analyzes the UK General Household Survey in 2006, covering a nationally representative 13,585 households. We exploited the number of vehicles as the instrumental variable for long-term illness, disability, or infirmity as vehicle numbers may be related to illness based on the notion that these individuals are less likely to drive, but that vehicle number may have no relationship to the likelihood of smoking. Our results suggested that chronic illness status causes a significantly 28% higher probability of smoking. The findings have wide implications for public health policymakers to design a more accessible campaign around smoking and for psychologists and doctors to take targeted care for the welfare of individuals with long-term illnesses.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/public-health
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s).
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2023 17:27
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2023 00:18
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/118175

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