New Directions in Tobacco Regulation and the Contributions of Economics

This event has past.

Speaker: Donald S. Kenkel

Date/Time: November 20th, 10 AM – 12 PM

Location: Health Sciences Building (155 College Street, Toronto ON), Room HS 100


The 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gives the U.S. FDA broad regulatory authority over the tobacco industry. Examples of actual and potential FDA tobacco regulations include: requiring graphic warning labels; banning misleading terms such as “light” in cigarette marketing; banning flavors in cigarettes other than menthol; restricting or banning the marketing and sales of menthol cigarettes; reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes; and regulating the marketing and sales of electronic-cigarettes. Research across a range of disciplines will provide the evidence base to craft effective FDA tobacco regulations and to evaluate their impacts. In this presentation I will discuss how three broad tools of economics can contribute to the evidence base for tobacco regulation: conceptual analysis of market forces; econometric analysis of observational data; and cost-benefit analysis of regulatory impacts. I conclude with a discussion of how economic research informs tobacco control and addiction policies more generally.


Don Kenkel

Donald Kenkel’s expertise is in areas of health economics and public sector economics. Broadly speaking, most of his research is on the economics of disease prevention and health promotion. He is the author of the chapter on “Prevention” in the Handbook of Health Economics (2000). He has conducted a series of studies on the economics of public health policies, including: alcohol taxes and other policies to prevent alcohol problems (Journal of Applied Econometrics 2001, American Economic Review Papers & Proceedings 2005); cigarette taxes to prevent youth smoking (Journal of Political Economy 2002, Journal of Health Economics 2008); and advertising to promote smoking cessation (Journal of Political Economy 2007). His current research is on the economics of tobacco regulation. Another area of research and teaching interest is in cost-benefit analysis of public policies, especially policies that affect health.