Private Profits and Public Health: Does Advertising of Smoking Cessation Products Encourage Smokers to Quit?

Posted: 20 Dec 2007

See all articles by Rosemary J. Avery

Rosemary J. Avery

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management

Donald Kenkel

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Dean Lillard

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM)

Alan D. Mathios

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM)

Abstract

We study the impact of smoking cessation product advertising. To measure potential exposure, we link survey data on magazine-reading habits and smoking behavior with an archive of print advertisements. We find that smokers who are exposed to more advertising are more likely to attempt to quit and to successfully quit. While some increased quitting involves product purchases, we find that product advertisements also prompt cold turkey quitting. Identifying the causal impact of advertising is difficult because advertisers target consumers. Although reverse causality could bias our estimates upward, our baseline results are not sensitive to a series of checks.

Suggested Citation

Avery, Rosemary J. and Kenkel, Donald and Lillard, Dean and Mathios, Alan D., Private Profits and Public Health: Does Advertising of Smoking Cessation Products Encourage Smokers to Quit?. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 115, No. 3, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1076567

Rosemary J. Avery

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management ( email )

120 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY
United States
607-255-2578 (Phone)
607-255-4071 (Fax)

Donald Kenkel (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM) ( email )

120 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-2594 (Phone)
607-255-4071 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Dean Lillard

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM) ( email )

120 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Alan D. Mathios

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM) ( email )

120 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-2589 (Phone)
607-255-0799 (Fax)

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