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"Teenage Indulgence in Cigarettes, Alcohol and Marijuana: Evidence of a "Gateway" Effect"

Bisakha Sen, Rajshree Agarwal, and Richard Hofler

 

First Author :

Bisakha Sen
Economics
University of Central Florida
University of Central Florida
Department of Economics
Orlando, FL 32816-1400
USA

bisakha.sen@bus.ucf.edu


Second Author :

Rajshree Agarwal
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1206 S. Sixth Street, M/C 706
Champaign, IL 61820
USA

agarwalr@uiuc.edu

http://www.business.uiuc.edu/faculty/agarwal.html


Third Author :

Richard Hofler
Economics
University of Central Florida
University of Central Florida
Department of Economics
Orlando, FL 32816-1400
USA

richard.hofler@bus.ucf.edu

 
 
Abstract :
 
We examine the possible existence of a ‘gateway’ effect between the consumption of three different substances – cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana – among adolescents. A gateway effect exists when consumption of one substance increases the likelihood of subsequent initiation of consumption of other substances. We find evidence that smoking and/or alcohol consumption serve as ‘gateways’ for initiating marijuana-use, and each of smoking and alcohol use serve as ‘gateways’ for initiating the other. After controlling for unobserved heterogeneity, we also find that marijuana-use serves as a ‘gateway’ for initiating alcohol and smoking. The results thus indicate complementarities in the use of addictive substances, and suggest that policies aimed at preventing adolescents’ usage of one addictive substance can have beneficial effects of reducing adolescents’ initiation of other addictive substances.
 
 
Manuscript Received : 2002
Manuscript Published : 2002
 
 
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