About Tobacconomics

Every year, millions of people across the world die prematurely from tobacco use. Every one of these deaths is preventable.

In the United States, we’ve seen the impact that smart policies can have on tobacco use. Smoking rates are dropping and indoor air has become cleaner. Fewer young people are starting, more adult smokers are giving it up, and tobacco control policies are gaining ground. All of this is good for the health of Americans, and we see the promise of fewer deaths and less disease from tobacco use.

While progress has certainly been made in reducing tobacco use, there is much work to be done. Tobacco companies have turned their attentions to new products. E-cigarettes and snus are growing in popularity, but remain largely unregulated by the FDA. These companies have begun to focus on low- and middle-income countries where the tobacco epidemic continues to grow. These new trends may make you wonder:

  • What will the impact of these new products be?
  • Will the strategies that have worked in the United States work in other countries?

That’s where we come in.

Based at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Health Policy Center, we conduct economic research to inform and shape tobacco control policies. We call it Tobacconomics.

Our team includes some of the brightest researchers on the economics of tobacco control policy. They are asking tough questions about what the future of tobacco control will look like, and their work is providing guidance for leaders and policy makers on effective interventions.

Making the case

When we learn what works, we can save lives and improve the economy. Because when people are healthier, they work more, produce more, buy more, and cost our health system less. All of which leads to a stronger economy. Explore what’s working in the global fight against tobacco »

Meet the team

Frank J. Chaloupka, PhD

Frank J. Chaloupka is a distinguished professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he is the director of the Health Policy Center. He is also the director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on the Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control, and co-Director of Bridging the Gap: … Read more »

Kai-Wen Cheng, PhD

Kai-Wen Cheng is currently a Senior Research Specialist in the Institute for Health Research and Policy and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Cheng’s research focuses on various issues in the area of economics of tobacco control. Her earlier … Read more »

Árpád Szabó, PhD

Dr. Árpád Szabó is an associate professor of macroeconomics at the MÜTF Educational Centre in Odorheiu Secuiesc in Romania, and an associate professor of management at Targu Mures University of Arts in Romania. He also works as a business strategy and human development consultant. He was lecturer at the Sapientia … Read more »

“In my judgment, Frank Chaloupka has been the most creative and socially productive economist working on tobacco-control issues over the past two decades.”

— Kenneth E. Warner, Ph.D., Avedis Donabedian Distinguished University Professor of Public Health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health