The cigarette smoker as two-self economic man

In a landmark report released in May 1988, the Surgeon General of the United States concluded that the nicotine in cigarette smoke was an addictive drug. The report described cigarette smoking as a highly controlled, compulsive behaviour driven by strong, often irresistible urges that could overcome repeated attempts to quit (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 1988). In an article published just three months later (Becker and Murphy 1988), the late Nobel prize-winning economist Gary Becker posed a provocative question: Could a cigarette smoker still make rational decisions within the confines of his addiction? ….[READ]