Parsing the Smoking Puzzle: Information, Risk Perception, and Choice

TitleParsing the Smoking Puzzle: Information, Risk Perception, and Choice
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsSloan, FA, Taylor, Jr., DH, V. Smith, K
PublisherHarvard University Press
CityCambridge, MA
KeywordsConsumption and Savings, Health Conditions and Status, Healthcare, Methodology, Public Policy, Risk Taking

Examines how perceptions of the risks of smoking are updated as older individuals receive new personalized information and how risk perceptions affect smoking behavior. Highlights the potential for reducing cigarette consumption using a message about a smoker's quality of life at the end of life. Based on data collected in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a national panel survey conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research on adults aged fifty one to sixty one in the baseline year of the survey (1992), and on information from focus group meetings and interviews with current or former smokers. Surveys government policy and industry advertising with regard to smoking over the past fifty to one hundred years and their effectiveness in influencing cigarette demand. Summarizes existing knowledge and HRS findings on the effects of smoking on mortality and morbidity. Focuses on the survey respondent's assessment of the probability that they will live to age seventy five; examines how well individuals predict their own survival; and explores how people use new information about their own health to update their longevity expectations. Presents new information on smoking cessation and relapse patterns in older adults, paying special attention to the impact of health shocks. Considers whether it is possible to design information messages that mimic the information conveyed to middle aged smokers by personal health shocks and investigates the factors that may make a message especially salient for smokers. Incorporates new findings into an economic analysis of the demand for cigarettes and evaluates the potential impact of a new information policy on daily cigarette consumption of smokers in the sixth and seventh decade of life. Presents policy implications. Sloan is at Duke University. Smith is at North Carolina State University. Taylor is at the Stanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University. Index.

Endnote Keywords

Smoking/Risk Behavior/Health Education/General Welfare/Basic Needs/Living Standards/Quality of Life/Health Production/Health/Econometric and Statistical Methods

Endnote ID


Citation Key5270