An assessment of smoking and non-smoking student preferences for the Thai smoking warning signs
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The standard no smoking sign or prohibition sign which has a red circle with a red diagonal line through a cigarette picture has been used in schools, universities, as well as public places as a smoking prevention tool in Thailand since 1992. Nevertheless, statistical data indicates that the number of new smokers since 2001 to 2014 has not significantly changed and most of the smokers start this habit between the ages of 15-19 years old. This paper thereby aims to test smoker and non-smoker preference in relation to the standard, current smoking signs as well as other types of signs associated with various behavioral economic principles and psychological ideas. The basic reveal preference approach (RP) and state preference approach (SP) were used in order to test their preference, and the economic binary choices model with the maximum likelihood (ML) estimation was used to measure factors affecting the prevalence of smoking. This paper found that the majority of both smokers and non-smokers preferred Pictorial Health Warning (PHWs) signs which relates to the principle of loss aversion to other types of smoking warning sign. Basically, PHWs is used on the cigarette package which is not often seen by the non-smokers, even the smokers can prevent these PHWs by replacing cigarette packs with cigarette holder cases after buying cigarette packs. However, applying PWHs as a sign posted on school, university, and public places can, to a certain extent, make individuals more concerned about their future losses from smoking. Additionally, this paper found that males, and having friends smoking were two significant factors affecting individual smoking behavior. Finally, we hope that an application of PHWs on the smoking signs grounded on the idea of loss aversion could be further developed as another strategy preventing smoking especially for youths in schools and universities.
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