Behavioral economic research in addiction as an area of growth for the experimental analysis of behavior.

Behavioral economics, a synthesis of the experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) and economics, seeks to determine the relative value of reinforcers as a function of various environmental constraints. Early animal and human studies often focused on drug reinforcement, and this has continued to the present. In particular, behavioral economic analyses of human and animal behavior in relation to nicotine and cigarette smoking have contributed to a greater understanding of this behavior, and to a greater reliance on these methods in the field of smoking cessation treatment, tobacco regulatory science, and tobacco control. In this commentary, we briefly describe the history of behavioral economics in the context of EAB methods, the particular contribution of these methods to understanding cigarette smoking and the advance of tobacco regulation, as well as opportunities for growth and remaining challenges in this area. As behavioral economics continues to stimulate research and inform policy, we propose that the underlying elements of a rigorous analytic approach to understanding behavior are key contributors to the fruitfulness of this approach. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)