Using Neuroscience to Inform Tobacco Control Policy.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

INTRODUCTION: Techniques employed in the field of neuroscience, such as eye tracking, electroencephalography, and functional magnetic resonance imaging, have been important in informing our understanding of the cognitive mechanisms underlying tobacco smoking. These techniques are now increasingly being used to investigate the likely impact of tobacco control policies. AIMS AND METHODS: In this narrative review, we outline the value of these methodological approaches in answering policy-relevant tobacco control research questions, with a particular focus on their use in examining the impact of standardized cigarette packaging and health warnings. We also examine the limitations of these methodologies and provide examples of how they can be used to answer other policy-relevant questions. RESULTS: We argue that neuroscience techniques can provide more objective evidence of the impacts of policy measures, allow investigation where it is not possible to conduct behavioral manipulations, and facilitate a deeper understanding of the cognitive mechanisms underlying the impacts of tobacco control policies such as standardized packaging, health warnings, point-of-sale displays, and mass media campaigns. CONCLUSIONS: Rather than replacing more traditional methods of examining tobacco control measures, such as observational experiments, surveys, and questionnaires, neuroscience techniques can complement and extend these methods. IMPLICATIONS: Neuroscience techniques facilitate objective examination of the mechanisms underlying the impacts of tobacco control measures. These techniques can therefore complement and extend other methodologies typically used in this field, such as observational experiments, surveys, and questionnaires.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Maynard, OM; McClernon, FJ; Oliver, JA; Munafò, MR

Published Date

  • May 21, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 739 - 746

PubMed ID

  • 29590482

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6528159

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-994X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/ntr/nty057


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England