University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Health Economics @ Cambridge > HE@Cam Seminar: John Buckell - Smokers’ cigarette choices and risk perceptions: Experimental evidence on US adults

HE@Cam Seminar: John Buckell - Smokers’ cigarette choices and risk perceptions: Experimental evidence on US adults

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Health Economics @ Cambridge presents John Buckell, postdoctoral associate at Yale University, for a seminar on risk perception of e-cigarettes. Drawing on a experimental evidence from the US, John will discuss how the perceptions of conventional cigarettes affect the attitude towards e-cigarettes, and what factors influences the decision to switch.

Time: 15:00-16:00, Monday 15th January 2018 Venue: Large Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge

About the seminar: Smoking is the largest avoidable cause of death in developed countries. E-cigarettes have emerged as a rival to combustible cigarettes that could help reduce the harm to smokers. Accordingly, policymakers are considering a number of market interventions to promote public health. To deploy policy effectively, policymakers must understand behavior and a key driver of behavior is risk perception. In the US, the FDA has several policy options for influencing risk perceptions of cigarettes and e-cigarettes. However, this issue is complex given uncertainty surrounding the health risks of e-cigarette use. In this study, we provide policy evidence by conducting a discrete choice experiment (DCE) on a representative sample of 2,031 US adult smokers and recent quitters. We model the effects of relative risk perceptions on cigarette choice behavior, allowing for the full range of individuals’ beliefs about the health risks of smoking and ‘vaping’ and inertia in smokers’ cigarette type choices. We estimate the extent to which smokers must believe combustible cigarettes are more harmful than e-cigarettes before they switch to e-cigarettes. Overall, two types of smoker are found: those willing to switch and those that are not. Inertia appears to be a leading driver of this behavior. Further, the results indicate that many more smokers would switch to e-cigarettes if risk perceptions were in line with current science on the relative health harms. Thus, policies that target relative health risk perceptions have potential as a policy tool for tobacco control.

John Buckell: John is a postdoctoral associate at Yale University under the supervision of Professor Jody Sindelar. His work involves using online experiments to understand the behavior of smokers, with a particular focus on e-cigarettes. John’s previous experience includes working on efficiency and regulation in the English NHS . John has also held secondment and consultancy posts at NHS England and Cambridge Economic Policy Associates, respectively. John works chiefly in the field of health but has experience in regulated industries, namely utilities and transport. His research interests include health econometrics; choice models; econometric estimation of cost and production functions; economic regulation; and policy evaluation.

Everyone is welcome, no sign-up required. More information can be found here

This talk is part of the Health Economics @ Cambridge series.

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