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An intelligent model based analysis of tobacco control policies

posted on 09.02.2017, 05:10 authored by Ding, Xiaojiang
This thesis conducts an intelligent model based analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of tobacco control policies. By using the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey data, the impact of tobacco control policies on smokers’ quitting behaviour is examined in four developed countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. A set of intelligent models are developed for predicting smokers’ quitting behaviour. The performance of these intelligent models is evaluated in order to select the best intelligent model for analyses. An attribute-based analysis is further conducted to investigate the underlying patterns and identify the factors that have the greatest impact on smokers’ plans to quit and their attempts to quit. Four policy drivers identified from the existing motivational attributes include: personal concerns, cigarette price, environmental restrictions and health system encouragement. They can be used to represent tobacco control policies. Outliers in the data are removed to improve the performance of the intelligent models. Results show that the derived policy drivers can fully represent the original attributes based on the performance of intelligent models using these two groups of input attributes. To evaluate the relative degrees of impact of tobacco control policies, hypothetical policy impacted populations are created to examine the variations of the quit attempt rate of smokers. Comparative studies are conducted for offering insightful analyses of impact degrees of tobacco control policies on different groups of smokers across the four countries. Results show that smokers’ health concerns and professional advice for quitting are two important factors to encourage quitting behaviour. Smoke-free policies may have a certain impact on increasing the quit attempt rate. In comparison with other tobacco control policies, the effectiveness of increasing cigarette price to reduce tobacco use is weak. Overall, this research establishes a methodological framework for modelling the complex planning process of tobacco control policies. In particular the framework can be used to measure the impact of specific tobacco control policies on smokers’ quitting behaviour across the four countries.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Chung-Hsing Yeh

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Clayton School of IT


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Information Technology