ADVANTAGES

The rational addiction model by contrast rejects the proposition that smokers behave myopically. It asserts that even addicted individuals do take into account future costs. The model assumes that addicted smokers make a rational choice, weighing up the pleasure of current smoking and the unpleasantness of withdrawal that comes with quitting on the one hand and the cost of current and continued smoking and the long-term health effects on the other. Different people will make different decisions depending on how much they value good health, how unpleasant they believe it will be to quit, and how much financial pressure they are under. Individuals also differ in the extent to which they prefer short-term over long-term benefits. Nevertheless, the choice an individual makes will take all relevant factors into account and be a rational one. Proponents of the rational addiction model such as Becker and Murphy have demonstrated that current consumption of an addictive good tends to be inversely related not only to the current price of the good but also to the past and predicted future prices. The model also suggests that more-educated and older people will be responsive to both new information and to price increases, and that less-educated and younger people will be much less responsive to information about long-term effects and relatively more responsive to immediate changes in price.

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