Workplace smoking ban effects on unhappy smokers
Economists usually draw a distinction between smokers. They distinguish 'happy addicts' à la Becker-Murphy from 'unhappy addicts' who state that smoking is a mistake and call for some help to quit. When evaluating tobacco control policies, it might be important to distinguish their effects on those two types of population. Indeed, such policies are welfare improving only if they help unhappy addicts to quit. We investigate the effect of the French workplace smoking ban on a sample of presumably 'unhappy addicts', smokers who consult tobacco cessation services. We show that the ban caused an increase in the demand for such services, and that this increase was larger in cold and rainy areas. It also induced an increase in the percentage of successful attempts to quit. Workplace smoking bans might be welfare improving since they seem to help 'unhappy addicts' to reconcile their behavior with their preferences.
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Volume (Year): 20 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 (09)
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