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.

Research Funding

  • September 19, 2013 - August 31, 2018 - Improved Models to Inform Tobacco Product Regulation , Co-Investigator . Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: P50CA180890


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

Honors & Awards

  • Hal Luft Mentoring Award in Health Services and Health Policy Research, UCSF, 2012
  • Helen Nahm Research Award, UCSF, 2010
  • Honorary Visiting Professorship, Beijing Normal University, Beijing,, 2001-2006

Selected Publications

  1. Rodriguez-Valadez JM, Tahsin M, Fleischmann KE, Masharani U, Yeboah J, Park M, Li L, Weber E, Li Y, Berkalieva A, Max W, Hunink MGM, Ferket BS. Cardiovascular and Renal Benefits of Novel Diabetes Drugs by Baseline Cardiovascular Risk: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Meta-regression. Diabetes Care. 2023 06 01; 46(6):1300-1310.  View on PubMed
  2. Lyu JC, Sung HY, Yao T, Jiang N, Quah ACK, Meng G, Jiang Y, Fong GT, Max W. Cigarette Gifting Among Nonsmokers in China: Findings From the International Tobacco Control China Survey. Nicotine Tob Res. 2023 04 06; 25(5):928-936.  View on PubMed
  3. Wang Y, Sung HY, Max WB. Changes in e-cigarette use and subsequent cigarette smoking cessation in the USA: evidence from a prospective PATH study, 2013-2018. Tob Control. 2022 Dec 07.  View on PubMed
  4. Odes R, Alway J, Kushel M, Max W, Vijayaraghavan M. The smoke-free home study: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial of a smoke-free home intervention in permanent supportive housing. BMC Public Health. 2022 11 14; 22(1):2076.  View on PubMed
  5. Wang Y, Sung HY, Lightwood J, Yao T, Max WB. Healthcare utilisation and expenditures attributable to current e-cigarette use among US adults. Tob Control. 2022 May 23.  View on PubMed
  6. Watkins SL, Pieper F, Chaffee BW, Yerger VB, Ling PM, Max W. Flavored Tobacco Product Use Among Young Adults by Race and Ethnicity: Evidence From the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. J Adolesc Health. 2022 08; 71(2):226-232.  View on PubMed
  7. Ferket BS, Hunink MGM, Masharani U, Max W, Yeboah J, Burke GL, Fleischmann KE. Lifetime Cardiovascular Disease Risk by Coronary Artery Calcium Score in Individuals With and Without Diabetes: An Analysis From the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Diabetes Care. 2022 04 01; 45(4):975-982.  View on PubMed
  8. Lyu JC, Sung HY, Yao T, Quah ACK, Jiang Y, Fong GT, Max W. Receiving and giving electronic cigarettes as gifts in China: Findings from International Tobacco Control China Survey. Prev Med Rep. 2022 Jun; 27:101763.  View on PubMed
  9. Gu D, Max WB, Yao T, Wang Y, Keeler C, Sung HY. Association between e-cigarette use and food insecurity among low-income adults. Tob Control. 2023 08; 32(e2):e212-e219.  View on PubMed
  10. Fang J, Ren J, Ren L, Max W, Yao T, Zhao F. Electronic cigarette knowledge, attitudes and use among students at a university in Hangzhou, China. Tob Induc Dis. 2022; 20:09.  View on PubMed
  11. Wang N, Yao T, Sung HY, Max W. The Association of Cannabis Use and Cigarette Smoking with Psychological Distress Among Adults in California. Subst Use Misuse. 2022; 57(2):193-201.  View on PubMed
  12. Keeler C, Wang Y, Max W, Yao T, Gu D, Sung HY. The Association of California's Proposition 56 Tobacco Tax Increase With Smoking Behavior Across Racial and Ethnic Groups and by Income. Nicotine Tob Res. 2021 11 05; 23(12):2091-2101.  View on PubMed
  13. Kim KM, White JS, Max W, Chapman SA, Muench U. Evaluation of Clinical and Economic Outcomes Following Implementation of a Medicare Pay-for-Performance Program for Surgical Procedures. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 08 02; 4(8):e2121115.  View on PubMed
  14. Max W, Stark B, Sung HY, Offen N. Smoking-Attributable Doctor Visits and Emergency Room Utilization and Costs by California's Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community. J Homosex. 2022 Aug 24; 69(10):1760-1776.  View on PubMed
  15. Ferket BS, Hunink MGM, Masharani U, Max W, Yeboah J, Fleischmann KE. Long-term Predictions of Incident Coronary Artery Calcium to 85 Years of Age for Asymptomatic Individuals With and Without Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2021 07; 44(7):1664-1671.  View on PubMed
  16. Wang Y, Max W, Yao T, Keeler C, Sung HY. Differential price-responsiveness of smoking behaviors among non-Hispanic African Americans and non-Hispanic whites in the United States. Addiction. 2021 10; 116(10):2859-2869.  View on PubMed
  17. Morey JR, Jiang S, Klein S, Max W, Masharani U, Fleischmann KE, Hunink MGM, Ferket BS. Estimating Long-Term Health Utility Scores and Expenditures for Cardiovascular Disease From the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2021 04; 14(4):e006769.  View on PubMed
  18. Wang Y, Watkins SL, Sung HY, Yao T, Lightwood J, Max W. Health Care Utilization of Menthol and Non-menthol Cigarette Smokers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2021 01 07; 23(1):195-202.  View on PubMed
  19. Limaye VS, Max W, Constible J, Knowlton K. Estimating The Costs Of Inaction And The Economic Benefits Of Addressing The Health Harms Of Climate Change. Health Aff (Millwood). 2020 12; 39(12):2098-2104.  View on PubMed
  20. Kim KM, Max W, White JS, Chapman SA, Muench U. Do penalty-based pay-for-performance programs improve surgical care more effectively than other payment strategies? A systematic review. Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2020 Dec; 60:623-630.  View on PubMed

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