IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Older but Not Wiser- Smokers and Passive Smoking Belief

In recent years the proportion of people who smoke in developed countries has reached a plateau, even though countries like the UK continue to run anti-smoking campaigns. We aim to inform UK policy makers about the effects of anti-smoking campaigns by looking at the beliefs that smokers and non-smokers have about the dangers of passive smoking, with particular interest in whether these beliefs vary amongst smokers of different ages. We envisage two groups of potential smokers. There are the altruists, who are less likely to start to smoke once they are fully aware of the dangers of passive smoking; and there are the non-altruists for whom the effects of passive smoking are an irrelevancy. We hypothesis that anti-smoking campaigns have managed to dissuade the altruists of later generations from ever starting to smoke, but are having no effect on the behavior of the non-altruists and hence the plateau. The older smoking altruists are then captive to their smoking behavior and have to rationalize their smoking behavior by downplaying the effects of passive smoking. Using data from the Health Survey for England we find strong evidence that it is the older smokers who are less prone to believe in the dangers of passive smoking whilst younger smokers essentially have the same beliefs as nonsmokers: a young uneducated smoker is more aware of the dangers of passive smoking than a highly educated older smoker. This conclusion is robust to a number of sensitivity analyses. We conclude that the main effect of current campaigns is the continuing deterrence of potential young altruist smokers.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia in its series Discussion Papers Series with number 431.

in new window

Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:431
Contact details of provider: Postal: St. Lucia, Qld. 4072
Phone: +61 7 3365 6570
Fax: +61 7 3365 7299
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Michael Visser & Matthew Roelofs, 2011. "Heterogeneous preferences for altruism: gender and personality, social status, giving and taking," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 490-506, November.
  2. Konow, James, 2006. "Mixed Feelings: Theories and Evidence of Warm Glow and Altruism," MPRA Paper 2727, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Wood, Lisa & France, Kathryn & Hunt, Kerry & Eades, Sandra & Slack-Smith, Linda, 2008. "Indigenous women and smoking during pregnancy: Knowledge, cultural contexts and barriers to cessation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(11), pages 2378-2389, June.
  4. Kenkel, D.S., 1988. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, And Schooling," Papers 10-88-3, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  5. Phelps, Charlotte D., 2001. "A clue to the paradox of happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 293-300, July.
  6. Cagri S. Kumru & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "The Effect of Status on Charitable Giving," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 709-735, 08.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:431. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SOE IT)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.