Scientific Accomplishments

The UCSF TCORS, entitled “Improved Models to Inform Tobacco Regulation” (PI: Glantz), funded by the FDA through NIH in September, 2013 and involving many Tobacco Control Program Members, has now completed its first year of scientific effort.

Programmatic Themes

> Studies of Nicotine and Tobacco Effects, Metabolism, and Biomarkers, Including Second-hand Smoke
> Clinical Interventions
> The Economics of Tobacco Control
> The Tobacco Industry
> Descriptive and Epidemiological Studies

Theme 1: Studies of Nicotine and Tobacco Effects, Metabolism, and Biomarkers, Including Second-hand Smoke

Dr. Neal Benowitz continues to research the idea that gradual reduction of the nicotine content of cigarettes would reduce the addictiveness of cigarettes, resulting in fewer young people becoming addicted and more addicted smokers quitting. His group participated in a multi-centered trial examining smoking behavior and biomarkers of tobacco toxicant exposure in smokers randomized to cigarettes with various levels of nicotine for six weeks.

Theme 2: Clinical Interventions

Dr. Sharon Hall continues her work on smoking cessation interventions, in which follow-up data collection is nearly complete in two clinical trials. The first trial is an intervention to promote cessation in buprenorphine treatment patients.

Theme 3: The Economics of Tobacco Control

Dr. Max’s work in the past year has focused on estimating the cost of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure in California, analyzing the impact of smoking and secondhand exposure on the LGBT community, and leading a project in the UCSF TCORS. Together with colleagues, she prepared a report that presents smoking-related cost estimates for each of California’s 58 counties, indicating that the economic burden of smoking in CA in 2009 amounted to $18.1 billion, including healthcare costs of $9.8 billion.

Theme 4: The Tobacco Industry

Dorie Apollonio, in collaboration with Dr. Stanton Glantz and other colleagues, studied the relationship between the tobacco industry and term limits (Apollonio et al., Soc Sci Med, 2014), and the role of political advocacy on tobacco-related decisions in pharmacy settings.

Theme 5: Descriptive and Epidemiological Studies

Dr. Paul Blanc has conducted further epidemiological analysis characterizing the contribution to the burden of airway disease of occupational exposure and secondhand cigarette smoke (SHS), taking into account direct smoking effect. This work delineates that the effect of occupational exposure, in terms of COPD, is additive to that of direct cigarette smoking exposure, but also that adult SHS exposure also contributes to risk (Balmes et al., Environ Res, 2014, MacIsaac et al., J Occup Environ Med, 2014).

Dr. Pamela Ling, together with colleagues, published 21 papers in the past year, including findings that young adults attending bars and nightclubs continue to have extremely high tobacco use rates, and use more “other” tobacco products, such as hookah, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes (Lee et al., J Am Coll Health, 2014). Other papers reported that young adult bar patrons report high rates of alcohol and tobacco co-use (Jiang et al., BMC Public Health, 2014), that such co-use is prominent among those who identify as “social smokers” (Jiang et al., Prev Med, 2014), and that nondaily smokers were highly likely to purchase single “loosie” cigarettes in New York City.

Dr. Ruth Malone, together with colleagues, is engaged in four R01 investigations related to institutional influences on tobacco control, voluntary tobacco-related initiatives by business (McDaniel et al., PLoS One, 2014), tobacco control policy implementation in the US Military (Smith et al., N Engl J Med, 2014), and civilian participation in military tobacco control.