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The value of risk-free cigarettes - do smokers underestimate the risk?

  • Henrik Hammar

    (Department of Economics, Göteborg University, Sweden)

  • Olof Johansson-Stenman

    (Department of Economics, Göteborg University, Sweden)

The health risk of smoking is valued using the contingent valuation method, applied to a Swedish sample of smokers. The respondents were asked to put a value on newly developed cigarettes with no associated health risks. The average additional willingness to pay for the new cigarettes is estimated to be between 10 and 41 SEK per pack, where the variation is due to statistical method, discounting, and whether the open-ended or closed-ended question format is used. Using medical data on life shortening effects of smoking, the results indicate rather low values put on a lost life-year, compared to most existing estimates based on other methods. This may indicate that smokers do underestimate the health risk of smoking. There is also initial optimism-bias regarding people's own ability to quit smoking at will. However, there are remaining methodological questions and we found little or no sensitivity to scope. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.794
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 59-71

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:13:y:2004:i:1:p:59-71
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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