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Description - The Smoking Puzzle by Frank A. Sloan

How do smokers evaluate evidence that smoking harms health? Some evidence suggests that smokers over-estimate health risks from smoking. This book challenges this conclusion. The authors find that smokers tend to be overly optimistic about their longevity and future health if they quit later in life. Older adults' decisions to quit smoking require personal experience with the serious health impacts associated with smoking. Smokers over 50 revise their risk perceptions only after experiencing a major health shock - such as a heart attack. But less serious symptoms, such as shortness of breath, do not cause changes in perceptions. Waiting for such a jolt to occur is imprudent. The authors show that well-crafted messages about how smoking affects quality of life can greatly affect current perceptions of smoking risks. If smokers are informed of long-term consequences of a disease, and if they are told that quitting can indeed come too late, they are able to evaluate the risks of smoking more accurately, and act accordingly.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674010390
ISBN-10: 0674010396
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 155mm x mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 15-Jun-2003
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Frank A. Sloan

Frank A. Sloan is J. Alexander McMahon Professor of Health Policy and Management and Professor of Economics, Duke University. V. Kerry Smith is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, North Carolina State University. Donald H. Taylor Jr. is Assistant Research Professor, Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University.

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