, Volume 21, Issue 2-3, pp 187-212

Smoking Risks in Spain: Part II—Perceptions of Environmental Tobacco Smoke Externalities

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Abstract

Previous studies of smoking risk beliefs have focused almost exclusively on risks to the smoker. Using an original set of survey data from Spain, we examine the public's perceived risks from exposures to environmental tobacco smoke. The risk categories considered included lung cancer, heart disease, life expectancy loss, and low birth weight for children of smoking mothers. Risk beliefs were quite high, often dwarfing scientific estimates of the risk. The results are consistent with overestimation of risks from highly publicized, low probability events.