Smoking : Making the Risky Decision

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This is a book on smoking that uses rigorous empirical data to explore in detail the character of the tradeoffs that people make in choosing whether to smoke or not to smoke. It is, therefore, not strictly about the hazards of smoking but about how people's perceptions of the risk of smoking affects their smoking behaviour. Some of the interesting and potentially controversial conclusions include: 1) People overestimate the risk of lung cancer compared to the actual incidence of the disease; 2) if people had an accurate perception of the risk of lung cancer national smoking rates would rise by 8%; 3) excise taxes on cigarettes increase people's risk perceptions and decrease smoking rates; 4) people who smoke are more likely to accept work in hazardous professions, and require less extra compensation for hazardous work than non-smokers; 5) young people, who are making the decision whether to smoke have a higher perception of the risks of smoking than older more

Product details

  • Hardback | 180 pages
  • 160 x 236.2 x 20.3mm | 408.24g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • line illustrations, tables
  • 0195074866
  • 9780195074864

Review quote

`a solid piece of empirical work' Times Higher Education Supplement `thought provoking book that will be of interest to researchers and policy makers concerned with smoking and public health' British Medical Journalshow more

Back cover copy

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 more

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