Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
AB, Amherst College, 1995
MPH, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 1999
PhD, Harvard University, 2004
Dr. Levy’s primary area of research is focused on studying how policies in the spheres of public health, healthcare finance, and health services can improve primary and higher order prevention to improve population health. The principal application of this overall research agenda is the study of policies to reduce the harms of tobacco use. His secondary research interest is using cost-effectiveness methods to help prioritize resource use and understand competing incentives to adopt alternative policies.
Dr. Levy’s research on tobacco has encompassed a number of avenues of inquiry. He has investigated the economics determinants and consequences of tobacco use, including the effect of cigarette price changes on smoking prevalence among pregnant women, the cost to employers of covering smoking cessation treatments, and national healthcare costs under alternative tobacco control scenarios. In addition to the economics of tobacco control, he has investigated clinical and epidemiological aspects of tobacco use and treatment, including the use of nicotine replacement therapy by smokers who are not trying to quit, the natural history of light and intermittent smoking, determinants of smoking cessation advice receipt among hospitalized smokers, and the cost-effectiveness of clinical strategies for reducing tobacco use. A major current focus of his tobacco research is studying the effects of policy on involuntary tobacco smoke exposure in public housing.
In addition to work on tobacco control, he has been collaborating on a number of studies investigating ways to apply principles of behavioral economic to stimulate healthy eating choices (Thorndike, PI). Settings have included a large hospital cafeteria and local low-income, high-minority, high-obesity communities.