Skip to main content

The Impact of Tobacco-Free School Laws on Student and Staff Smoking Behavior


A number of US states have enacted bans on tobacco use by students, staff, and visitors anywhere on the grounds of public elementary and secondary schools statewide. These laws are intended to reduce tobacco use, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, reinforce anti-tobacco curricula taught in schools, and prevent children from viewing their teachers and fellow students using tobacco products. We examine the impact that the laws have on the smoking behavior of students, teachers, and other school staff by estimating difference-in-differences models that exploit the time variation in adoption of the laws across states. We generally find that these laws do not impact smoking behavior, although we do find some evidence suggesting a possible effect on nonteaching school staff.

Keywords: smoking, tobacco, smoke-free laws.
JEL Classification: I10, I20.


Suggested citation: Bhatt, Rachana, and Peter Hinrichs, 2017. “The Impact of Tobacco-Free School Laws on Student and Staff Smoking Behavior.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 17-24. https://doi.org/10.26509/frbc-wp-201724.

Upcoming EventsSEE ALL