Behavioral Economic Laboratory Research in Tobacco Regulatory Science.
Research that can provide a scientific foundation for the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tobacco policy decisions is needed to inform tobacco regulatory policy. One factor that affects the impact of a tobacco product on public health is its intensity of use, which is determined, in part, by its abuse liability or reinforcing efficacy. Behavioral economic tasks have considerable utility for assessing the reinforcing efficacy of current and emerging tobacco products.
This paper provides a narrative review of several behavioral economic laboratory tasks and identifies important applications to tobacco regulatory science.
Behavioral economic laboratory assessments, including operant self-administration, choice tasks and purchase tasks, can be used generate behavioral economic data on the effect of price and other constraints on tobacco product consumption. These tasks could provide an expedited simulation of the effects of various tobacco control policies across populations of interest to the FDA.
Tobacco regulatory research questions that can be addressed with behavioral economic tasks include assessments of the impact of product characteristics on product demand, assessments of the abuse liability of novel and potential modified risk tobacco products (MRTPs), and assessments of the impact of conventional and novel products in vulnerable populations.