Forecasting the Effects of Smoking in Latin American Mortality

Beatriz Novak, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Guido Pinto, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the prevalence of cigarette consumption increased first among forerunners of mortality decline (Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, and Chile) and, albeit with lags, in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama. Laggards in the mortality decline (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, and the majority of Central America and the Caribbean) are undergoing the initial stages of the smoking epidemic. The tug of past smoking behavior weighs heavily on current mortality levels and patterns. The effects are felt mostly at ages above 50, the only age segment within which changes in mortality risks could alter life expectancy more than trivially. The goal of this paper is to forecast potential losses in life expectancy that could be expected in the next fifteen to twenty years as a result of changes in the composition by past smoking behaviors in birth cohorts who will reach age 50 after the year 2005.

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Presented in Session 146: Mortality Trends and Differentials