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A Social perception of smoking cessation medication: A willingness-to-pay survey

Listed author(s):
  • Jose Luis Pinto Prades


    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • José M. Abellán-Perpiñán


    (Department of Applied Economics, Universidad de Murcia)

  • Ildefonso Méndez-Martínez


    (Department of Applied Economics, Universidad de Murcia)

  • Silvia Díaz-Cerezo

    (Pfizer, S.L.U.)

  • Verónica Sanz de Burgoa

    (Pfizer, S.L.U.)

Smoking is one of the main preventable causes of death in the world. There are several first-line pharmacological treatments available for smoking cessation. However, they are not very popular amongst smokers. There is evidence that smokers may not value these therapies in accordance with the scientific evidence. This paper provides evidence about the impact of subjective perceptions on the decision to use pharmacological treatments for smoking cessation and on the value that people place on these treatments. We conducted telephone interviews with 2011 members of the Spanish population (785 smokers, 590 ex-smokers and 636 never-smokers). We found that a large proportion of subjects (70% smokers, 67% ex-smokers and 59% never-smokers) did not show a positive willingness to pay for these therapies. The basic reason for refusing to pay anything at all was that they did not believe the therapies were effective. Mean willingness to pay (for those with a positive willingness to pay) was very similar for the three groups (€223/month for smokers, €225/month for ex-smokers and €213/month for never-smokers). We discuss whether social policy can be based on distorted preferences. We argue that Libertarian Paternalism can be used to guide social policy in the area of tobacco addiction.

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Paper provided by Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11.13.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:11.13
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  1. Xavier Giné & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2010. "Put Your Money Where Your Butt Is: A Commitment Contract for Smoking Cessation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 213-235, October.
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