Reframing Health Behavior: Change with Behavioral Economics

By Warren K. Bickel; Rudy E. Vuchinich | Go to book overview

also would shift tobacco's demand curve to the left, may be the most important and most challenging task due to the difficulty of creating products that provide the same magnitude of reinforcement as quickly and cheaply as smoking but without its health risk.

All of these interventions should be examined within a behavioral economics framework in order to determine their full implications for smoking. For example, the influence of each strategy on tobacco's demand curve (i.e., changes in elasticity) needs to be carefully evaluated within the context of available complementary reinforcers, which themselves can increase tobacco consumption, rather than in isolation. The impact of these strategies on smoking behavior across subgroups of smokers (teens, heavily dependent, etc.) also should be assessed, because a particular strategy could shift the demand curve of one group to the left but leave that of another group unchanged or even shifted to the right. In addition, given the likelihood that single approaches are unlikely to have a substantial effect in all smokers, the influence of various combinations of interventions, on the demand curve for smoking should be investigated (Bickel & DeGrandpre, 1996). In this way, the optimum set of interventions to reduce smoking in the broad population of smokers can be determined.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Preparation of this chapter was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse grants DA04174 and DA05807. James E. Grobe also was supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute predoctoral training grant HL07560 and by a Mellon predoctoral fellowship.


REFERENCES

American Psychiatric Association. ( 1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders ( 4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Aron E. N., & Aron A. ( 1983). "The patterns of reduction of drug and alcohol use among Transcendental Meditation participants". Bulletin of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Bebaviors, 2, 8-33.

Batel P., Pessione F., Maitre C., & Rueff B. ( 1995). "Relationship between alcohol and tobacco dependencies among alcoholics who smoke". Addiction, 90, 977-980.

Behm F. M., Schur C., Levin E. D., Tashkin D. P., & Rose J. E. ( 1993). "Clinical evaluation of a citric acid inhaler for smoking cessation". Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 31, 131-138.

Benowitz N., & Henningfield J. E. ( 1994). "Establishing a nicotine threshold for addiction". New England Journal of Medicine, 331, 123-125.

Bickel W. K., & DeGrandpre R. J. ( 1996). "Modeling drug abuse policy in the behavioral economics laboratory". In L. Green & J. H. Kagel (Eds.), Advances in behavioral economics: Vol 3. Substance use and abuse (pp. 69-95). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

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