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Smoking : Making the Risky Decision - W. Kip Viscusi

Smoking

Making the Risky Decision

Hardcover Published: 19th November 1992
ISBN: 9780195074864
Number Of Pages: 180

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Are the risks of smoking exaggerated? Has there been an open and rational discussion about the risks of smoking? This book attempts to answer these and many other questions about the subject, providing a detailed empirical presentation on smoking behavior as a risky consumer decision.
Using new empirical data based on several national and regional surveys, Viscusi addresses a number of important issues, including: the sources of information that people have about the risks of smoking, the accuracy of their perceptions of the risks associated with smoking, and the consistency of smoking decisions with other risky behavior - scrutinizing issues such as whether smokers value risk differently than those who wear safety belts.
Viscusi also looks at the differences in age groups and how they assess these risks based on public information. He provides new insight into the degree to which individuals understand smoking risks and take these risks into account in their behavior.
With its detailed empirical data and its examination of individual decision-making processes, this work will interest researchers in public health, public policy, psychology, and economics, as well as anyone concerned with this important issue.

"Well written and accessible to a broad audience....The book is well worth reading for anyone interested in these topics."--Journal of Economic Literature "A thought provoking book that will be of interest to researchers and policy makers concerned with smoking and public health."--British Medical Journal "As much as any economist, Viscusi has undertaken the difficult task of disciplining formal models with detailed observation of actual judgements and behaviors. Smoking: Making the Risky Decision is a milestone in this long-term project, a book with theoretical and practical importance."--Baruch Fischhoff, Carnegie Mellon University "This book combines two disciplines, cognitive psychology and the economics of risk, to make an important contribution to the smoking debate. Viscusi shows that persons in all age groups overestimate smoking risks, as theory predicts, and that persons behave rationally respecting the smoking decision given their perception of the facts. After these findings, the smoking decision can justifiably be regulated only in consequence of third party effects, not because consumers make poor health choices.--Alan Schwartz, Yale Law School "This book has a point of view that is underrepresented in the debate over smoking policy--that the objective of public policy should not be a smoke-free society, but risk taking based on accurate information and promoting competition for safer cigarettes."--Joseph P. Newhouse, Harvard Medical School "Well written and accessible to a broad audience....The book is well worth reading for anyone interested in these topics."--Journal of Economic Literature "A thought provoking book that will be of interest to researchers and policy makers concerned with smoking and public health."--British Medical Journal "As much as any economist, Viscusi has undertaken the difficult task of disciplining formal models with detailed observation of actual judgements and behaviors. Smoking: Making the Risky Decision is a milestone in this long-term project, a book with theoretical and practical importance."--Baruch Fischhoff, Carnegie Mellon University "This book combines two disciplines, cognitive psychology and the economics of risk, to make an important contribution to the smoking debate. Viscusi shows that persons in all age groups overestimate smoking risks, as theory predicts, and that persons behave rationally respecting the smoking decision given their perception of the facts. After these findings, the smoking decision can justifiably be regulated only in consequence of third party effects, not because consumers make poor health choices.--Alan Schwartz, Yale Law School "This book has a point of view that is underrepresented in the debate over smoking policy--that the objective of public policy should not be a smoke-free society, but risk taking based on accurate information and promoting competition for safer cigarettes."--Joseph P. Newhouse, Harvard Medical School "Viscusi's book will provide the intellectual basis and framework for a long overdue reassessment of the role of government in protecting consumers and workers from certain types of risky behavior. It should come as no surprise that the government has once again been overzealous in their protection of consumers and workers from the dangers of smoking by mandating hazard warnings on packages, restricting television advertising and imposing restrictions on where smoking is permitted. Viscusi analyzes the government's actions and offers us some interesting routs out of the swamp of overprotection."--Robert D. Tollison, George Mason University "An important book. It is a forceful challenge ot regulators and academic sin marketing and public policy, especially those who have argued that consumers are simply unable to make rational decisions about smoking and other risks. Anyone who ignores this book will be ceding essential territory to the province of market-oriented economists."--Journal of Public Policy & Marketing "This is a first-rate study and an important contribution to risk assessors and readers interested in public health, public policy, psychology, economics, and the smoking debate in general."--Risk Analysis "This original and penetrating study offers the reader a wealth of fascinating results by focusing upon a most unpredictable quality: the individual's response to risk....Viscusi's findings and aruments are controversial, and are almost certain to be widely discussed....Yet whatever discomfort Viscusi's findings may produce, he has done public discourse, and his profession, a commendable service."--The Public Interest

Smoking as a Regulated Risky Decisionp. 3
The Economic Significance of Smoking Behaviorp. 3
Principal Findingsp. 4
The Decision Context of the Resultsp. 12
The Cognitive and Informational Contextp. 17
The Debate over Smoking Behaviorp. 18
The Determinants of Risk Perceptionsp. 22
Sources of Risk Informationp. 29
Cigarette Advertisingp. 35
Conclusionp. 44
Long-Term Trends in Attitudes toward Smokingp. 47
Public Opinion Survey Data on Smokingp. 48
Changes in Smoking Behaviorp. 53
Conclusionp. 58
Smoking Risk Perceptionsp. 61
The Data Base and the Empirical Frameworkp. 62
Individual Perceptions of Lung Cancer Risksp. 65
Estimation of the Determinants of Risk Perceptionsp. 72
Alternative Risk Question Formats: Are the Findings Robust?p. 74
Conclusionp. 82
The Effect of Risks on Smoking Behaviorp. 87
Smoking Attitudes and Sources of Risk Informationp. 88
The Smoking Probability Equationp. 95
The Effect of Unbiased Perceptionsp. 99
Cigarette Demand and the Lung Cancer Risk Equivalent of Excise Taxesp. 101
Tastes, Addiction, and Ethicsp. 109
Conclusionp. 115
Individual Learning and Age Variations in Risk Perceptions and Smoking Decisionsp. 119
Sample Characteristicsp. 122
Patterns of Risk Perceptionp. 122
The Lung Cancer Risk-Perception Equationp. 125
Age Differences in Smoking Behaviorp. 128
Conclusionp. 129
Appendix 6A. The Risk-Perception Modelp. 129
Appendix 6B. The Econometric Modelp. 131
Appendix 6C. Testing for Age Differences in Smoking Behaviorp. 133
The Quest for Rational Risk-Taking Decisionsp. 139
Smoking Behavior and Economic Rationalityp. 139
Implications for Current Smoking Policyp. 144
Market Competition for Safer Cigarettesp. 146
New Opportunities for Government Policyp. 149
Appendix A: Text of Survey Instrument Used in Audits and Surveys Studyp. 153
Bibliographyp. 159
Indexp. 169
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195074864
ISBN-10: 0195074866
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 180
Published: 19th November 1992
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.4  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.49