Study 1 investigates the flow of information from manufacturers of smoking cessation products to consumers. Producer advertising of these products may help achieve some of the same public health goals as public service anti-smoking messages. To measure the flow of information, we will use manifest content analysis to count the number and scope of advertisements of smoking cessation products in print media, supplemented by content analysis of television advertising. The project will test whether the flow of information was altered by changes in the Food and Drug Administration's [FDA] regulatory requirements. Although the FDA initially had strict regulatory requirements for the advertising of smoking cessation products, the movement of these products from prescription to over-the-counter status and other changes in regulations may have made it less costly for producers to mount significant and extensive advertising campaigns for a range of smoking cessation products. Study 1 will also yield measures of consumer information that will be incorporated into Study 2's econometric models. Study 2 will provide econometric estimates of the effects of public policies on smoking cessation. The econometric analysis will use five large nationally representative panel data sets: three of the four samples of the National Longitudinal Surveys Original Cohort - Older Men, Mature Women, and Younger Women; the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1979; and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Retrospective questions on smoking in these surveys allow us to construct measures of each respondent's lifetime smoking history. Using the smoking histories, we will examine the determinants of smoking cessation from the 1960s to the 1990s. Using information on geographic location, the project will merge policy variables with the core data to provide histories of the policy environments faced by respondents. These data allow us to study how quit rates are influenced by taxes, direct restrictions on smoking, information about the health consequences of smoking, and the availability and advertising of smoking cessation products. The longitudinal nature of the data will also allow us to explore the impact of life course events such as fertility and marital breakup, as well as the impact of socioeconomic factors that vary across the life course, such as work status and income.
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