Perceptions of health risk and smoking decisions of young people

Health Econ. 2012 Jul;21(7):865-77. doi: 10.1002/hec.1760. Epub 2011 Jul 28.


Using the Annenberg Perception of Tobacco Risk Survey 2, this paper finds that perceived risk deters smoking among persons aged 14-22 years who think that it is relatively difficult to quit smoking and that onset of deleterious health effects occurs relatively quickly. Perceived health risk, however, does not affect the smoking status of young people who hold the opposite beliefs. These results are consistent with predictions of rational addiction models and suggest that young people, who view smoking as more addictive and health effects as more immediate, may have greater incentive to consider long-term health effects in their decision to smoke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology