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Risk Beliefs and Preferences for E-cigarettes

Listed author(s):
  • W. Kip Viscusi

    ()

    (Vanderbilt University)

Drawing on evidence from a new nationally representative survey, this article examines several measures of risk beliefs for e-cigarettes. For both lung cancer mortality risks and total smoking mortality risks, respondents believe that e-cigarettes pose risks that are lower than the risks of conventional tobacco cigarettes. However, people greatly overestimate the risk levels of e-cigarettes compared with the actual risk levels. Risk beliefs for conventional cigarettes receive at least a two-thirds informational weight in the formation of e-cigarette risk beliefs. Public perceptions of nicotine levels of e-cigarettes are closer to the beliefs for conventional cigarettes than are their health risk perceptions. Consumers’ desired uses of e-cigarettes are more strongly related to health risk perceptions than perceived e-cigarette nicotine levels. The overestimation of e-cigarette risks establishes a potential role for informational policies.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/AJHE_a_00042
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal American Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2016)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 213-240

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:amjhec:v:2:y:2016:i:2:p:213-240
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  1. Nigel Rice & Silvana Robone & Peter C. Smith, 2012. "Vignettes and health systems responsiveness in cross‐country comparative analyses," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 175(2), pages 337-369, 04.
  2. Petter Lundborg, 2007. "Smoking, information sources, and risk perceptions—New results on Swedish data," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 217-240, June.
  3. Rovira, Joan & Viscusi, W. Kip & Antoñanzas, Fernando & Costa, Joan & Hart, Warren & Carvalho, Irineu, 2000. "Smoking Risks in Spain: Part II--Perceptions of Environmental Tobacco Smoke Externalities," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 21(2-3), pages 187-212, November.
  4. Petter Lundborg & Bj–rn Lindgren, 2004. "Do They Know What They are Doing? Risk Perceptions and Smoking Behaviour Among Swedish Teenagers," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 261-286, 05.
  5. Khwaja, Ahmed & Sloan, Frank & Chung, Sukyung, 2006. "Learning about individual risk and the decision to smoke," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 683-699, July.
  6. Anil Gaba & W. Kip Viscusi, 1998. "Differences in Subjective Risk Thresholds: Worker Groups as an Example," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(6), pages 801-811, June.
  7. Liu, Jin-Tan & Hsieh, Chee-Ruey, 1995. "Risk Perception and Smoking Behavior: Empirical Evidence from Taiwan," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 139-157, September.
  8. Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Do Smokers Underestimate Risks?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1253-1269, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Viscusi, W Kip & O'Connor, Charles J, 1984. "Adaptive Responses to Chemical Labeling: Are Workers Bayesian Decision Makers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 942-956, December.
  11. 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.
  12. Viscusi, W Kip & Carvalho, Irineu & Antoñanzas, Fernando & Rovira, Joan & Braña, Francisco J. & Portillo, Fabiola, 2000. "Smoking Risks in Spain: Part III--Determinants of Smoking Behavior," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 21(2-3), pages 213-234, November.
  13. Ahmed Khwaja & Frank Sloan & Sukyung Chung, 2007. "The relationship between individual expectations and behaviors: Mortality expectations and smoking decisions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 179-201, October.
  14. 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.
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