Intergenerational transmission of nicotine within families: have e-cigarettes influenced passive smoking?

Vincenzo Carrieri, Andrew M. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Using an objective biomarker of active and passive smoking, we estimate Galtonian regressions of nicotine transmission and test whether the use of new nicotine delivery products (NDP) by parents had an influence on the transmission to children through passive smoking. We find evidence of a strong intergenerational transmission through passive smoking and that this is around four times larger for mothers compared to fathers. Moreover, we estimate an intention to treat difference-in-differences (DiD) model using parental cotinine as a continuous measure of exposure to the treatment and we find that the level of transmission of cotinine from parents was reduced to 51 per cent of the previous level just after the spread in the use of e-cigarettes in England and to 77 per cent when considering transmission from mothers. This is confirmed also by a DiD model which considers interaction between cotinine levels and self-reported use of NDP by parents and suggests that lower taxation of these devices may be justified on externality grounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalEconomics and Human Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Galtonian regression
  • Intergenerational mobility
  • Nicotine
  • Passive smoking
  • Tobacco taxes

Cite this