Are mature smokers misinformed?
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.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
- Smith, V. Kerry & Taylor, Donald H., Jr. & Sloan, Frank A. & Johnson, F. Reed & Desvousges, William H., 2000.
"Do Smokers Respond to Health Shocks?,"
00-08, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- Smith, V. Kerry & Taylor, Donald H., Jr. & Sloan, Frank A., 2000.
"Longevity Expectations and Death: Can People Predict Their Own Demise?,"
00-15, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lancaster, Tony, 1979. "Econometric Methods for the Duration of Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 939-56, July.
- Li Gan & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden, 2005.
"Individual Subjective Survival Curves,"
in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 377-412
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Do Smokers Underestimate Risks?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1253-69, December.
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "Age Variations in Risk Perceptions and Smoking Decisions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 577-88, November.
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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.