Risk Beliefs and Preferences for E-Cigarettes
American Journal of Health Economics, Forthcoming
52 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2015 Last revised: 30 Apr 2016
Date Written: March 2, 2015
Drawing on evidence from a new nationally representative survey, this article examines several measures of risk beliefs for e-cigarettes. For both lung cancer mortality risks and total smoking mortality risks, respondents believe that e-cigarettes pose risks that are lower than the risks of conventional tobacco cigarettes. However, people greatly overestimate the risk levels of e-cigarettes compared to the actual risk levels. Risk beliefs for conventional cigarettes receive at least a two-thirds informational weight in the formation of e-cigarette risk beliefs. Public perceptions of nicotine levels of e-cigarettes are closer to the beliefs for conventional cigarettes than are their health risk perceptions. Consumers’ desired uses of e-cigarettes are more strongly related to health risk perceptions than perceived e-cigarette nicotine levels. The overestimation of e-cigarette risks establishes a potential role for informational policies.
Keywords: e-cigarettes, cigarettes, smoking, risk, Bayesian
JEL Classification: I12, I18, K32, D80
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation