Cover: The Smoking Puzzle: Information, Risk Perception, and Choice, from Harvard University PressCover: The Smoking Puzzle in HARDCOVER

The Smoking Puzzle

Information, Risk Perception, and Choice

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Product Details


$96.50 • £77.95 • €87.00

ISBN 9780674010390

Publication Date: 06/15/2003


288 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

3 line illustrations, 25 tables


By focusing attention on older smokers, The Smoking Puzzle provides a new and very valuable set of lessons for tobacco policy. Sloan, Smith, and Taylor document that older smokers do quit in appreciable numbers—but most quit too late, after a lifetime of cigarette smoking has already begun to exact its price. In an argument grounded in economic and psychological theory, and buttressed by copious qualitative and quantitative empirical analysis, the authors show that there is ample room for improvement. Properly designed public policy—well described in the book—can lead to significant increases in quitting among still-healthy older smokers. This book is an essential addition to the literature on smoking.—Sherry Glied, Columbia University

This is an excellent book. It covers important new material and covers it well. It provides both a broad overview of the economics of smoking and some new analyses of how risk perceptions matter for smoking decisions. The findings and the discussion are important and are likely to have a major impact on the field.—Jonathan Gruber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This book makes an important contribution to tobacco policy by suggesting a new direction in information policy. In doing so, it skillfully navigates between those who claim that smokers rationally understand what they are doing—and in fact may overestimate the health risks they run—and those who claim excise taxes should be increased to keep smokers from harming themselves.—Joseph Newhouse, Harvard University

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