Research Summary

Dr. Yao's research focuses on the economic impact of tobacco products and marijuana. Her current studies include estimating the impact of price on the demand for cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and marijuana. Her previous research includes estimating the impact of price on the demand for cigarettes and the economic costs of secondhand smoke exposure.

Research Funding

  • September 2, 2019 - September 1, 2022 - The impact of price on the demand for marijuana and cigarettes , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), Sponsor Award ID: T30IR0897
  • August 1, 2017 - July 31, 2019 - The impact of price on the demand for electronic cigarettes , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), Sponsor Award ID: 26IR-0008
  • January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017 - Own-price and cross-price elasticity of demand for tobacco products in the U.S. , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH/FDA, Sponsor Award ID:


  • Sichuan University, China, B.A., 06/2003, Public Health
  • Sichuan University, China, Ph.D., 06/2009, Health Economics
  • University of California, San Francisco, Postdoctoral Fellow, 01/2014, Economics of Smoking

Honors & Awards

  • 2010
    National Cancer Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship, UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education
  • 2012
    Dorothy Rice Postdoctoral Fellowship, UCSF Institute For Health & Aging
  • 2013
    Cornelius Hopper Diversity Award Supplement, Tobacco-related Disease Research Program (TRDRP)
  • 2019
    Nominated for John Ziegler Mentor Award, UCSF Master of Science in Global Health Program
  • 2020
    Nominated for John Ziegler Mentor Award, UCSF Master of Science in Global Health Program

Selected Publications

  1. Hao P, Xu SS, Sung H, Yao T, Jiang Y, Quah ACK, Fong GT. Local Brand Smoking Among Adult Smokers: Findings from the Wave 5 International Tobacco Control China Survey - China, 2015. China CDC Wkly. 2022 May 27; 4(21):452-459.  View on PubMed
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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. 2022 Mar 12.  View on PubMed
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Huang S, Wei H, Yao T, Mao Z, Sun Q, Yang L. The impact of smoking on annual healthcare cost: an econometric model analysis in China, 2015. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021 Feb 28; 21(1):187.  View on PubMed
  10. 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
  11. Cui Z, Huang H, Zhang T, Yu Z, Zhang H, Yao T, Song D, Chen Y, Peixoto E, Wang C, Wang X, Yang J, Liu Y, Li C, Ma J. Low awareness of and willingness to use PrEP in the Chinese YMSM: An alert in YMSM HIV prevention. HIV Med. 2021 03; 22(3):185-193.  View on PubMed
  12. Yao T, Sung HY, Huang J, Chu L, St Helen G, Max W. The impact of e-cigarette and cigarette prices on e-cigarette and cigarette sales in California. Prev Med Rep. 2020 Dec; 20:101244.  View on PubMed
  13. Wei H, Zhong Z, Yang L, Yao T, Huang S, Mao Z. Impact of smoking on the income level of Chinese urban residents: a two-wave follow-up of the China Family Panel Study. BMJ Open. 2020 08 23; 10(8):e036939.  View on PubMed
  14. Zhong Z, Wei H, Yang L, Yao T, Mao Z, Sun Q. Catastrophic health expenditure: A comparative analysis of smoking and non-smoking households¬†in China. PLoS One. 2020; 15(5):e0233749.  View on PubMed
  15. 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. 2020 04 17; 22(4):522-531.  View on PubMed
  16. Keeler C, Max W, Yao T, Wang Y, Zhang X, Sung HY. Smoking Behavior in Low- and High-Income Adults Immediately Following California Proposition 56 Tobacco Tax Increase. Am J Public Health. 2020 06; 110(6):868-870.  View on PubMed
  17. 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 02; 56(2):281-287.  View on PubMed
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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

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