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. Zhang T, Ren J, Zhang X, Max W. Medical and socio-demographic characteristics associated with patient-perceived continuity of primary care: A cross-sectional survey in Hangzhou, China. Int J Health Plann Manage. 2019 Nov 17.
    View on PubMed
  2. Oh A, Patel K, Boscardin WJ, Max W, Stephens C, Ritchie CS, Smith AK. Social Support and Patterns of Institutionalization Among Older Adults: A Longitudinal Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Oct 08.
    View on PubMed
  3. Max WB, Stark BB, Sung HY, Offen NB. Deaths from smoking and from HIV/AIDS among gay and bisexual men in California, 2005-2050. Tob Control. 2019 May 30.
    View on PubMed
  4. Coombs LA, Max W, Kolevska T, Tonner C, Stephens C. Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants: An Underestimated Workforce for Older Adults with Cancer. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Jul; 67(7):1489-1494.
    View on PubMed
  5. Watkins SL, Thrul J, Max W, Ling P. Cold Turkey and Hot Vapes? A national study of young adult cigarette cessation strategies. Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 Dec 26.
    View on PubMed
  6. Yao T, Sung HY, Wang Y, Lightwood J, Max W. Healthcare Costs of Secondhand Smoke Exposure at Home for U.S. Children. Am J Prev Med. 2019 Feb; 56(2):281-287.
    View on PubMed
  7. Sung HY, Penko J, Cummins SE, Max W, Zhu SH, Bibbins-Domingo K, Kohatsu ND. Economic Impact of Financial Incentives and Mailing Nicotine Patches to Help Medicaid Smokers Quit Smoking: A Cost-Benefit Analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2018 12; 55(6 Suppl 2):S148-S158.
    View on PubMed
  8. Johnson JK, Stewart AL, Acree M, Nápoles AM, Flatt JD, Max WB, Gregorich SE. A Community Choir Intervention to Promote Well-being among Diverse Older Adults: Results from the Community of Voices Trial. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2018 Nov 09.
    View on PubMed
  9. Max WB, Sung HY, Lightwood J, Wang Y, Yao T. Modelling the impact of a new tobacco product: review of Philip Morris International's Population Health Impact Model as applied to the IQOS heated tobacco product. Tob Control. 2018 11; 27(Suppl 1):s82-s86.
    View on PubMed
  10. Wang Y, Sung HY, Lightwood J, Chaffee BW, Yao T, Max W. Health Care Utilization and Expenditures Attributable to Smokeless Tobacco Use Among US Adults. Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 09 25; 20(11):1359-1368.
    View on PubMed
  11. Sung HY, Wang Y, Yao T, Lightwood J, Max W. Polytobacco Use and Nicotine Dependence Symptoms Among US Adults, 2012-2014. Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 08 14; 20(suppl_1):S88-S98.
    View on PubMed
  12. Keeler C, Max W, Yerger VB, Yao T, Wang Y, Ong MK, Sung HY. Effects of cigarette prices on intention to quit, quit attempts, and successful cessation among African American smokers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 Jul 18.
    View on PubMed
  13. 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. 2018 05 03; 20(6):741-748.
    View on PubMed
  14. Wang Y, Sung HY, Yao T, Lightwood J, Max W. Health Care Utilization and Expenditures Attributable to Cigar Smoking Among US Adults, 2000-2015. Public Health Rep. 2018 May/Jun; 133(3):329-337.
    View on PubMed
  15. Yao T, Sung HY, Wang Y, Lightwood J, Max W. Healthcare costs attributable to secondhand smoke exposure at home for U.S. adults. Prev Med. 2018 03; 108:41-46.
    View on PubMed
  16. Yao T, Max W, Sung HY, Glantz SA, Goldberg RL, Wang JB, Wang Y, Lightwood J, Cataldo J. Relationship between spending on electronic cigarettes, 30-day use, and disease symptoms among current adult cigarette smokers in the U.S. PLoS One. 2017; 12(11):e0187399.
    View on PubMed
  17. 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. 2017 Nov 07; 19(12):1450-1464.
    View on PubMed
  18. Smith-Bernardin S, Carrico A, Max W, Chapman S. Utilization of a Sobering Center for Acute Alcohol Intoxication. Acad Emerg Med. 2017 09; 24(9):1060-1071.
    View on PubMed
  19. 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. 2018 05; 27(3):301-309.
    View on PubMed
  20. 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.
    View on PubMed

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