The article by Hainer, “Social Smokers Aren’t Hooked on Nicotine, Just Smoking” takes an in-depth look into social smokers who consider themselves to have their smoking habits under control and not addicted to nicotine. I found this article contradictory. In my opinion, if you smoke you are considered to be a smoker, regardless of the frequency. Moreover, with so many studies available that show how harmful smoking cigarettes are consumers are now able to make informed decisions. People who disregard the available information and continue to smoke in fact show a dependence and/or addition and poor self-worth. According to Kenton (2018), “price elasticity of demand is an economic measure of the change in the quantity demanded or purchased of a product in relation to its price change.” I have witnessed first-hand how addictive tobacco products can be for its consumers. During my stent as rehabilitation substance abuse nurse, most of my clients reported starting at young age. Their usage increased with increased stress levels. Some of my former clients would complain about inflation in prices and would argue that price increase would not detour them from purchasing this product. The demand for cigarettes will always be there. Both social smokers and those who are in denial will continue to purchase cigarettes. As a result, social smokers will be more elastic since there consumption levels are consistent. Our government in recent years has shown progressive movement to implement a mindset shift amongst smokers. Even with preventative measures in place it is ultimately up to the consumer to make the wise decision to stop smoking.
Kenton, W. (2019). Price Elasticity of Demand. Retrieved August 2019, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/priceelasticity.asp
To discuss price elasticity with nicotine products, we have to first talk about what price elasticity is. According to Douglas (2012), Price Elasticity of Demand is defined as the percentage change in quantity demanded divided by the percentage change in price. So this means it measures how much demand would change following a price change. This is very noticeable in cigarettes. and/or tobacco when it comes to addicted users. My husband dips and he is addicted as he constantly has one in. If he goes even a few hours than longer without a dip, then he will start to get inpatient and irritated. To him, and all other tobacco addicted users, they dont care what the price is, they are going to buy those items as they have "no choice" due to being addicted. Of course, if price increases too much, they may attempt to quit due to the amount. However, I saw an individual the other day buy 4 packs of cigarettes and it cost him $25 and these may not even last him a week. So this means that addicted smokers have very little to no elasticity.
However, if cigarettes were to increase to, lets say $7.00, then the social workers would be able to stop due to the price increase. They may be upset about it but they would be able to have a lot higher elasticity in saying no in this. Hainer state that they are not addicted and that they can 'put it down at any moment and not really think about it again' (2010).
Overall, I think that the government has done some to try to reduce the negative effects. for example, they have started commercials showing individuals who have ventilators or lost their jaw due to tobacco use. They have increased amounts of the tobacco based products, thus higher taxation. This could weed out those "social smokers" as they will get to the point where they no longer want to continue to increase their spending on luxury items. however, when it comes to the addicts, i am not sure how much it would help. I try to think of my husband, which, honestly, its scary thinking about how much he would spend on dip before deciding it was too much. Hainer (2010) states that 60% of $40M individuals are dependent on smoking, this is 24M individuals. I am not sure how much government can really decrease that, no matter how much they try to.
Douglas, E. (2012). Managerial Economics (1st ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/ (Links to an external site.)
Hainer, R. (2010). Social smokers aren't hooked on nicotine, just smoking (Links to an external site.)
. Cable News Network. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/04/24/social.smokers/index.html (Links to an external site.)