Title: Networks for smoking dynamics
Speaker: Adarsh Prabhakaran
Tobacco usage, one of the leading public health issues globally, has declined over the years due to multiple policies. Despite these policies, the decline of the number of smokers is slowing down, and tobacco use is still common. Over the years, multiple models have been developed to study the spread of smoking and to develop tobacco control strategies (mainly ODE – Ordinary Differential Equation models). However, these models do not consider all interactions between individuals observed empirically and their underlying network structure. In this talk, I will describe the network-based Agent-based model we developed to reproduce the social contagion process of tobacco use. Our results suggest that network structure is essential and that the observed dynamics from the ODE model are only similar to the network-based ABM only when the underlying network is fully connected, which is rarely the case. Further, by comparing multiple theoretical networks, we also show that networks with a similar average degree as the real-world network can be used to model smoking behaviour when complete information on the real-world network is unavailable. Additionally, our ABM can be used as a testbed to develop network-based intervention strategies and policies for tobacco control.