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Self-control and support for anti-smoking policies among smokers, ex smokers, and never smokers

  • Lourdes Badillo Amador
  • Ángel López Nicolás

    ()

In this paper, we sustain that non-smokers who might be at risk of starting to smoke or relapsing can benefit from anti-smoking policies such as tax hikes and smoking bans because these are mechanisms that enhance their self-control with regard to tobacco consumption. We formalize this conjecture by proposing a model where starting/relapsing might result from time inconsistent preferences in a way that mirrors the inability of some smokers to carry out the decision to quit. Subsequently, we specify econometric models that allow us to test the implications of such conjecture using information on smoking behavior at the individual level from the Catalan Health Survey of 2006. The empirical results support our conjecture and suggest that the welfare gains derived from the reinforcement of self-control caused by tax hikes and smoking bans will accrue not only to smokers but also to the rest of the population. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10198-011-0356-5
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Article provided by Springer in its journal The European Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 161-170

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Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:14:y:2013:i:2:p:161-170
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  1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
  2. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  3. Joni Hersch, 2005. "Smoking Restrictions as a Self-Control Mechanism," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 5-21, July.
  4. Jonathan Gruber & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "Do Cigarette Taxes Make Smokers Happier?," NBER Working Papers 8872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Orphanides, Athanasios & Zervos, David, 1995. "Rational Addiction with Learning and Regret," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 739-58, August.
  6. Kamhon Kan, 2006. "Cigarette smoking and self-control," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 06-A004, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
  7. Wang Ruqu, 2007. "The Optimal Consumption and the Quitting of Harmful Addictive Goods," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-38, February.
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