The effect of coverage of smoking-cessation aids on tobacco use: Evidence from Canada

Yichen Shen*, Haruko Noguchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In clinical trials, smoking-cessation aids (SCAs) have proven to be effective at improving the odds of smoking cessation. Because of the effectiveness of SCAs in these settings, many countries have adopted the coverage of SCAs to reduce tobacco use. However, the effect of such coverage on tobacco use is ambiguous. On one hand, the coverage may have the intended effect and reduce tobacco use. On the other hand, the coverage may cause beneficiaries to participate in tobacco use more as the drug coverage protects beneficiaries from future costs associated with tobacco use. To understand the effect of SCA coverage, we examine it using 2008–2012 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey and a difference-in-differences approach. We find that SCA coverage increases cigarette and cigarillo use. Moreover, the effect of SCA coverage on tobacco use is stronger in men and in those with at least a college education. Our results point to the unintended consequences of the coverage of SCAs on tobacco use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2200-2216
Number of pages17
JournalHealth Economics (United Kingdom)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept


  • difference-in-differences
  • drug insurance
  • ex-ante moral hazard
  • smoking
  • smoking-cessation aids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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