On Monday March 24h, 2017 John Buckell (Yale) will present his research project titled:
US smokers' cigarette choice: risk perception, health loss aversion and inertia
Smoking remains the leading cause of death in the developed world. In recent years, e-cigarettes have gained traction as an alternative to cigarettes. In response to this, governments are developing a range of market interventions to control their use. To maximize the impact of interventions, it is necessary to understand smokers’ behaviors. Our findings indicate that both product preferences and reaction to risk vary by group. For some groups, there is an underlying preference for combustible cigarettes. Here, these individuals do not switch products irrespective of their beliefs about the relative risks of these products. In other groups, the preference for combustible cigarettes is weaker. Here, we are able to identify at what level of relative risk, on average, smokers will switch products. Introducing inertia reveals that it is not only current dual users (of combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes) that are willing to switch; even staunch smokers of combustible cigarettes will switch if they believe the relative health risks are sufficiently large. Lastly, we find that smokers are loss averse in the health domain.