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Private Profits and Public Health: Does Advertising of Smoking Cessation Products Encourage Smokers to Quit?

  • Rosemary Avery
  • Donald Kenkel
  • Dean R. Lillard
  • Alan Mathios

We study the impact of smoking cessation product advertising. To measure potential exposure, we link survey data on magazine-reading habits and smoking behavior with an archive of print advertisements. We find that smokers who are exposed to more advertising are more likely to attempt to quit and to successfully quit. While some increased quitting involves product purchases, we find that product advertisements also prompt cold turkey quitting. Identifying the causal impact of advertising is difficult because advertisers target consumers. Although reverse causality could bias our estimates upward, our baseline results are not sensitive to a series of checks.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/520065
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 115 (2007)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 447-481

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:115:y:2007:p:447-481
DOI: 10.1086/520065
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. Rosemary Avery & Donald Kenkel & Dean Lillard & Alan Mathios, 2007. "Regulating advertisements: the case of smoking cessation products," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 185-208, April.
  2. Davina C. Ling & Ernst R. Berndt & Margaret K. Kyle, 2002. "Deregulating Direct-to-Consumer Marketing of Prescription Drugs: Effects on Prescription and Over-the-Counter Product Sales," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(S2), pages 691-723.
  3. Toshiaki Iizuka & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2005. "Drug Advertising and Health Habit," NBER Working Papers 11770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lillard, Dean R. & Plassmann, Vandana & Kenkel, Donald & Mathios, Alan, 2007. "Who kicks the habit and how they do it: Socioeconomic differences across methods of quitting smoking in the USA," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(12), pages 2504-2519, June.
  5. Jones, Andrew M., 1999. "Adjustment costs, withdrawal effects, and cigarette addiction," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 125-137, January.
  6. Pauline M. Ippolito & Alan D. Mathios, 1990. "Information, Advertising and Health Choices: A Study of the Cereal Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 459-480, Autumn.
  7. Michael P. Murray, 2006. "Avoiding Invalid Instruments and Coping with Weak Instruments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 111-132, Fall.
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