IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jhecon/v28y2009i2p385-397.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Are mature smokers misinformed?

Author

Listed:
  • Khwaja, Ahmed
  • Silverman, Dan
  • Sloan, Frank
  • Wang, Yang

Abstract

While there are many reasons to continue to smoke in spite of its consequences for health, the concern that many smoke because they misperceive the risks of smoking remains a focus of public discussion and motivates tobacco control policies and litigation. In this paper we investigate the relative accuracy of mature smokers' risk perceptions about future survival, and a range of morbidities and disabilities. Using data from the survey on smoking (SOS) conducted for this research, we compare subjective beliefs elicited from the SOS with corresponding individual-specific objective probabilities estimated from the health and retirement study. Overall, consumers in the age group studied, 50-70, are not overly optimistic in their perceptions of health risk. If anything, smokers tend to be relatively pessimistic about these risks. The finding that smokers are either well informed or pessimistic regarding a broad range of health risks suggests that these beliefs are not pivotal in the decision to continue smoking. Although statements by the tobacco companies may have been misleading and thus encouraged some to start smoking, we find no evidence that systematic misinformation about the health consequences of smoking inhibits quitting.

Suggested Citation

  • Khwaja, Ahmed & Silverman, Dan & Sloan, Frank & Wang, Yang, 2009. "Are mature smokers misinformed?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 385-397, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:385-397
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167-6296(08)00197-5
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. W. Kip Viscusi & Jahn Hakes, 2003. "Risk ratings that do not measure probabilities," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 23-43, January.
    2. Li Gan & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden, 2005. "Individual Subjective Survival Curves," NBER Chapters,in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 377-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. V. Kerry Smith & Donald H. Taylor & Frank A. Sloan, 2001. "Longevity Expectations and Death: Can People Predict Their Own Demise?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1126-1134, September.
    4. Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Do Smokers Underestimate Risks?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1253-1269, December.
    5. V. Kerry Smith & Donald H. Taylor & Frank A. Sloan & F. Reed Johnson & William H. Desvousges, 2001. "Do Smokers Respond To Health Shocks?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 675-687, November.
    6. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, September.
    7. Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "Age Variations in Risk Perceptions and Smoking Decisions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 577-588, November.
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1997:87:5:755-759_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lancaster, Tony, 1979. "Econometric Methods for the Duration of Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 939-956, July.
    10. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2002:92:6:990-996_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hsieh, Chee-Ruey & Lo, Te-Fen, 2017. "Are smokers too optimistic about their health status: Ex ante perception versus ex post observation," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 169-183.
    2. Schnellenbach, Jan, 2012. "Nudges and norms: On the political economy of soft paternalism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 266-277.
    3. Grevenbrock, Nils & Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2015. "Biased Survival Beliefs, Psychological and Cognitive Explanations, and the Demand for Life Insurances," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113203, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Lin, Wanchuan & Sloan, Frank, 2015. "Risk perceptions and smoking decisions of adult Chinese men," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 60-73.
    5. Peter Kooreman & Henriëtte Prast, 2010. "What Does Behavioral Economics Mean for Policy? Challenges to Savings and Health Policies in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(2), pages 101-122, June.
    6. Wuppermann, Amelie Catherine, 2011. "Empirical Essays in Health and Education Economics," Munich Dissertations in Economics 13187, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    7. Carman, Katherine Grace & Kooreman, Peter, 2011. "Flu Shots, Mammograms, and the Perception of Probabilities," IZA Discussion Papers 5739, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Grevenbrock, Nils & Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2018. "Cognition, optimism and the formation of age-dependent survival beliefs," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-015, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. Joachim Winter & Amelie Wuppermann, 2014. "Do They Know What Is At Risk? Health Risk Perception Among The Obese," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 564-585, May.
    10. Frank Sloan & Lindsey Eldred & Tong Guo & Yanzhi Xu, 2013. "Are people overoptimistic about the effects of heavy drinking?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 93-127, August.
    11. Frank Sloan & Alyssa Platt, 2011. "Information, risk perceptions, and smoking choices of youth," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 161-193, April.
    12. Grevenbrock, Nils & Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2018. "Cognition, optimism and the formation of age-dependent survival beliefs," SAFE Working Paper Series 200, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    13. Luca Colombo & Umberto Galmarini, 2015. "Optimality and distortionary lobbying: regulating tobacco consumption," Working Papers 2015/2, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    14. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:112-125 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Gerking, S.D. & Khaddaria, R., 2012. "Perceptions of health risk and smoking decisions of young people," Other publications TiSEM 2e129465-1e69-4454-83d7-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    16. Katherine Carman & Peter Kooreman, 2014. "Probability perceptions and preventive health care," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 43-71, August.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:385-397. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.