University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Wendy Max, PhD

Wendy Max, PhD

Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Co-Director, Institute for Health and Aging, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Tobacco Control

Research Summary

I am nationally and internationally recognized as an expert on the economics of tobacco and have been conducting studies related to costs of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure for over 25 years. My research team was one of the first groups to develop econometric models of smoking-attributable costs, and these models represent the state-of-the-art today. We have refined and improved these models and have used them to study lifetime smoking-attributable costs, smoking-attributable costs to Medicaid and Medicare, costs to each of the states and to each of California's counties, costs to Hispanics and Blacks, and the impact of tobacco control expenditures on healthcare expenditures in California. I am involved in ongoing research studying the economic cost of secondhand smoke exposure in California, the US, and China. I am also currently working on the development of economic cost models for other tobacco products. I served as an expert witness for 12 states in litigation that the Attorneys General brought against the tobacco industry to recover Medicaid costs. I was also an expert witness for similar litigation on behalf of Blue Cross Blue Shield. I regularly present my research on the economics of tobacco at national and international conferences and at tobacco control forums, and I have testified before the California legislature. I have also conducted research related to economic effects of tobacco use on health and healthcare costs in India and China. I have mentored a number of postdoctoral fellows, including Dr. John, who studied the cost of smoking in India, Dr. Yao, who has worked with me on the economic impact of secondhand smoke in rural China and tobacco purchasing behavior in China, Dr. Lindsay who worked with me on secondhand exposure of smokers, and Dr. Chambers, who is working with me on the economic impact of tobacco policies within the context of healthcare utilization among vulnerable populations with chronic disease. I have co-authored papers with all of my fellows.

Education

Stanford University, Stanford, CA, B.A., 1976, History, Economics
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, M.S., 1981, Economics
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, Ph.D., 1983, Economics


Professional Experience

  • 1979-1980
    Health Policy Analyst, Colorado Department of Health, Denver, CO
  • 1980-81
    Research Associate, Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, CO
  • 1982-83
    Teaching Assistant, Univ. of CO, Boulder, CO
  • 1983-91
    Assistant Professor, CA State University, Hayward
  • 1991-94
    Assistant Adjunct Professor, Institute for Health & Aging, UCSF
  • 1994-99
    Associate Adjunct Professor, Institute for Health & Aging, UCSF
  • 1999-present
    Co-Director, Institute for Health & Aging, UCSF
  • 1999-present
    Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, UCSF

Selected Publications

  1. Smith-Bernardin S, Carrico A, Max W, Chapman S. Utilization of a Sobering Center for Acute Alcohol Intoxication. Acad Emerg Med. 2017 Sep; 24(9):1060-1071.
    View on PubMed
  2. Yao T, Ong MK, Max W, Keeler C, Wang Y, Yerger VB, Sung HY. Responsiveness to cigarette prices by different racial/ethnic groups of US adults. Tob Control. 2017 Jul 26.
    View on PubMed
  3. Wang Y, Sung HY, Yao T, Lightwood J, Max W. Infrequent and Frequent Nondaily Smokers and Daily Smokers: Their Characteristics and Other Tobacco Use Patterns. Nicotine Tob Res. 2017 Feb 10.
    View on PubMed
  4. Kulik MC, Bialous SA, Munthali S, Max W. Tobacco growing and the sustainable development goals, Malawi. Bull World Health Organ. 2017 May 01; 95(5):362-367.
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  5. Wang Y, Sung HY, Yao T, Lightwood J, Max W. Factors associated with short-term transitions of non-daily smokers: socio-demographic characteristics and other tobacco product use. Addiction. 2017 May; 112(5):864-872.
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  6. Max W, Stark B, Sung HY, Offen N. Max et al. Respond. Am J Public Health. 2016 Sep; 106(9):e4-5.
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  7. Keeler C, Max W, Yerger V, Yao T, Ong MK, Sung HY. The Association of Menthol Cigarette Use With Quit Attempts, Successful Cessation, and Intention to Quit Across Racial/Ethnic Groups in the United States. Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 Aug 24.
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  8. Max WB, Stark B, Sung HY, Offen N. Sexual Identity Disparities in Smoking and Secondhand Smoke Exposure in California: 2003-2013. Am J Public Health. 2016 Jun; 106(6):1136-42.
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  9. Yao T, Sung HY, Wang Y, Lightwood J, Max W. Sociodemographic Differences Among U.S. Children and Adults Exposed to Secondhand Smoke at Home: National Health Interview Surveys 2000 and 2010. Public Health Rep. 2016 Mar-Apr; 131(2):357-66.
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  10. van Kempen BJ, Ferket BS, Steyerberg EW, Max W, Myriam Hunink MG, Fleischmann KE. Comparing the cost-effectiveness of four novel risk markers for screening asymptomatic individuals to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the US population. Int J Cardiol. 2016 Jan 15; 203:422-31.
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  11. Johnson JK, Nápoles AM, Stewart AL, Max WB, Santoyo-Olsson J, Freyre R, Allison TA, Gregorich SE. Study protocol for a cluster randomized trial of the Community of Voices choir intervention to promote the health and well-being of diverse older adults. BMC Public Health. 2015 Oct 13; 15:1049.
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  12. Max W, Sung HY, Shi Y, Stark B. The Cost of Smoking in California. Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 May; 18(5):1222-9.
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  13. Sung HY, Wang Y, Yao T, Lightwood J, Max W. Polytobacco Use of Cigarettes, Cigars, Chewing Tobacco, and Snuff Among US Adults. Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 May; 18(5):817-26.
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  14. Chambers C, Sung HY, Max W. Home exposure to secondhand smoke among people living in multiunit housing and single family housing: a study of California adults, 2003-2012. J Urban Health. 2015 Apr; 92(2):279-90.
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  15. Berndt N, Bolman C, Lechner L, Max W, Mudde A, de Vries H, Evers S. Economic evaluation of a telephone- and face-to-face-delivered counseling intervention for smoking cessation in patients with coronary heart disease. Eur J Health Econ. 2016 Apr; 17(3):269-85.
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  16. Chaloupka FJ, Warner KE, Acemoglu D, Gruber J, Laux F, Max W, Newhouse J, Schelling T, Sindelar J. An evaluation of the FDA's analysis of the costs and benefits of the graphic warning label regulation. Tob Control. 2015 Mar; 24(2):112-9.
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  17. Lindsay RP, Tsoh JY, Sung HY, Max W. Secondhand smoke exposure and serum cotinine levels among current smokers in the USA. Tob Control. 2016 Mar; 25(2):224-31.
    View on PubMed
  18. Yao T, Sung HY, Mao Z, Hu TW, Max W. The healthcare costs of secondhand smoke exposure in rural China. Tob Control. 2015 Oct; 24(e3):e221-6.
    View on PubMed
  19. Max W, Sung HY, Shi Y. Childhood secondhand smoke exposure and ADHD-attributable costs to the health and education system. J Sch Health. 2014 Oct; 84(10):683-6.
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  20. Barnett PG, Hamlett-Berry K, Sung HY, Max W. Health care expenditures attributable to smoking in military veterans. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 May; 17(5):586-91.
    View on PubMed

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