UCSF Receives $20 Million to Study New Tobacco Products
5 Projects Will Focus on Impacts of E-cigarettes and Smokeless or Heated Tobacco Products
By Elizabeth Fernandez |UCSF.edu| September 17, 2018
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center members Gideon St. Helen, PhD, Carolyn Calfee, MD, MAS, Matthew Springer, PhD, Benjamin Chaffee, DDS, MPH, PhD, and Wendy Max, PhD will receive Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) funding.
UC San Francisco has been awarded a five-year, $20 million grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health to study the impacts of new and emerging tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs), which heat tobacco without combustion.
UCSF is one of nine institutions nationally to receive funding this year from the Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS). The UCSF research team, led by Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, also received a five-year, $20 million TCORS grant when the program started in 2013.
The new UCSF TCORS research projects, which will also be supported by $1 million in funding from UCSF, will range from the products’ impacts on lung and cardiovascular disease, to school-age usage and the impact on health care costs in general and vulnerable populations.
“The tobacco industry is drastically different than it was 10 years ago, when most tobacco users smoked cigarettes that were more alike than different,” said Glantz. “Today we have an explosion of new and varied products, including e-cigarettes like JUUL and HTPs, which the industry promotes as presenting ‘reduced harm’ with very little independent evidence. We will independently study the health effects of these products, how they are perceived by consumers, and their effects on health care costs, with the goal of protecting public health.”
The UCSF TCORS projects have three primary goals: to evaluate the short-term health effects of the new tobacco products and how specific product characteristics influence health effects and behavior; scientifically inform product standards and marketing regulations for the new products; and build the tobacco regulatory science research community.
“As they have in the past, tobacco companies are using new products that they claim are ‘safer’ to try to position themselves as part of the solution rather than part of the problem,” said Glantz. “The UCSF TCORS is developing the knowledge that will allow independent judgment of whether these companies have actually changed or are merely changing their spots.”