Nov 24, 2011

Smoking, Credit, and Air Pollution: Recent research on Guatemala

Conclusion: Six months after the implementation of a smoke-free law in Guatemala, nicotine levels were signif- icantly decreased in bars and restaurants and workers’ support for the law substantially increased.
Abstract: We estimate correlated, contextual and endogenous effects of networks at the neighborhood, church, and village levels, finding that church networks display endogenous effects in credit access. We calculate an elasticity of social imitation (ESI) indicating if the percentage of people accessing microfinance in a church network doubles, the probability of an individual household accessing microfinance increases by 14.1 percent, a magnitude similar to our estimated ESIs for televisions and cell phones within church and neighbor networks.
"Effect of reduction in household air pollution on childhood pneumonia in Guatemala (RESPIRE): a randomised controlled trial." By Smith et al. The Lancet  (November 2011). 
Interpretation: In a population heavily exposed to wood smoke from cooking, a reduction in exposure achieved with chimney stoves did not significantly reduce physician-diagnosed pneumonia for children younger than 18 months. The significant reduction of a third in severe pneumonia, however, if confirmed, could have important implications for reduction of child mortality. The significant exposure-response associations contribute to causal inference and suggest that stove or fuel interventions producing lower average exposures than these chimney stoves might be needed to substantially reduce pneumonia in populations heavily exposed to biomass fuel air pollution.

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