Research Summary

I am Professor of Medicine and Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences and Chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at San Francisco General Hospital. With over 500 publications, I am a leading authority on the human pharmacology of nicotine and nicotine addiction. My laboratory also is a leading site for biomarker assessment of tobacco toxicant exposure. I am former president of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), and the recipient of the Ove Ferno SRNT Award for Clinical Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. I have been a contributing author or editor to six US Surgeon General's Reports on tobacco including the 2010 Surgeon General's Report—How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease.

Research Funding

  • July 1, 1977 - June 30, 2025 - Clinical Pharmacology, Drug Action and Pharmacogenetics , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: T32GM007546
  • September 1, 1999 - May 31, 2025 - Drug Dependence Clinical Research Program , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: P30DA012393
  • August 5, 1999 - May 31, 2023 - Cancer Center Support Grant , Co-Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: P30CA082103
  • August 15, 2018 - July 31, 2022 - Cigarette Harm Reduction with Scheduled Electronic Cigarette Use , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: U01DA045519


Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY, MD, 1969, Medicine
Bronx Municipal Hospital Center, Bronx, New York, Intern and Resident, Internal Medicine, 1969-1971
Fellow in Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, 1971-1972

Honors & Awards

  • Oscar B. Hunter Award
  • Ove Ferno Award
  • 2002
  • UCSF Annual Distinguished Clinical Research Lecturer
  • Rawls Palmer Award for Progress in Medicine
  • Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Health
  • 1994-2002
  • NIDA Merit Award
  • American Board of Internal Medicine (Diplomate, 1968)
  • American Board of Medical Toxicology
  • American Board of Clinical Pharmacology
  • American Federation for Clinical Research (President 1996 to 1997)
  • American Society for Clinical Inves-tigation
  • American Society of Clinical Pharma-cology and Therapeutics
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Association of American Physicians
  • Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (President, 1996-1997)

Selected Publications

  1. White CM, Watson C, Bravo Cardenas R, Ngac P, Valentin-Blasini L, Blount BC, Koopmeiners JS, Denlinger-Apte RL, Pacek LR, Benowitz NL, Hatsukami DK, Donny EC, Carpenter MJ, Smith TT. Early Changes in Puffing Intensity When Exclusively Using Open-Label Very Low Nicotine Content Cigarettes. Nicotine Tob Res. 2022 10 26; 24(11):1798-1802.  View on PubMed
  2. Tang X, Benowitz N, Gundel L, Hang B, Havel CM, Hoh E, Jacob Iii P, Mao JH, Martins-Green M, Matt GE, Quintana PJE, Russell ML, Sarker A, Schick SF, Snijders AM, Destaillats H. Thirdhand Exposures to Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines through Inhalation, Dust Ingestion, Dermal Uptake, and Epidermal Chemistry. Environ Sci Technol. 2022 09 06; 56(17):12506-12516.  View on PubMed
  3. Klemperer EM, Luo X, Jensen J, al'Absi M, Cinciripini PM, Robinson JD, Drobes DJ, McClernon J, Strasser AA, Strayer LG, Vandrey R, Benowitz NL, Donny EC, Hatsukami DK. Smoking abstinence and cessation-related outcomes one month after an immediate versus gradual reduction in nicotine content of cigarettes. Prev Med. 2022 Dec; 165(Pt B):107175.  View on PubMed
  4. Rezk-Hanna M, Warda US, Stokes AC, Fetterman J, Li J, Macey PM, Darawad M, Song Y, Ben Taleb Z, Brecht ML, Benowitz NL. Associations of Smokeless Tobacco Use With Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Insights From the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. Nicotine Tob Res. 2022 06 15; 24(7):1063-1070.  View on PubMed
  5. Rice M, Nollen NL, Ahluwalia JS, Benowitz N, Woodcock A, Pulvers K. Effects of Marijuana Use on Smokers Switching to E-Cigarettes in a Randomized Clinical Trial. Nicotine Tob Res. 2022 06 15; 24(7):994-1002.  View on PubMed
  6. Cox LS, Nollen NL, Mayo MS, Faseru B, Greiner A, Ellerbeck EF, Krebill R, Tyndale RF, Benowitz NL, Ahluwalia JS. Effect of Varenicline Added to Counseling on Smoking Cessation Among African American Daily Smokers: The Kick It at Swope IV Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2022 06 14; 327(22):2201-2209.  View on PubMed
  7. Jacob P, Chan L, Cheung P, Bello K, Yu L, StHelen G, Benowitz NL. Minor Tobacco Alkaloids as Biomarkers to Distinguish Combusted Tobacco Use From Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Use. Two New Analytical Methods. Front Chem. 2022; 10:749089.  View on PubMed
  8. Moazed F, Hendrickson C, Jauregui A, Gotts J, Conroy A, Delucchi K, Zhuo H, Arambulo M, Vessel K, Ke S, Deiss T, Ni A, Leligdowicz A, Abbott J, Cohen MJ, Sinha P, Gomez A, Kangelaris K, Kornblith L, Matthay M, Benowitz N, Liu K, Calfee CS. Cigarette Smoke Exposure and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Sepsis: Epidemiology, Clinical Features, and Biologic Markers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2022 04 15; 205(8):927-935.  View on PubMed
  9. Benowitz NL. The Central Role of pH in the Clinical Pharmacology of Nicotine: Implications for Abuse Liability, Cigarette Harm Reduction and FDA Regulation. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2022 05; 111(5):1004-1006.  View on PubMed
  10. Stroud LR, Papandonatos GD, Jao NC, Niaura R, Buka S, Benowitz NL. Maternal nicotine metabolism moderates the impact of maternal cigarette smoking on infant birth weight: A Collaborative Perinatal Project investigation. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2022 04 01; 233:109358.  View on PubMed
  11. Aquilina NJ, Havel CM, Benowitz NL, Jacob P. Tobacco-specific and combustion pollutants in settled house dust in Malta. J Environ Expo Assess. 2022; 1.  View on PubMed
  12. Dai H, Benowitz NL, Achutan C, Farazi PA, Degarege A, Khan AS. Exposure to Toxicants Associated With Use and Transitions Between Cigarettes, e-Cigarettes, and No Tobacco. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 02 01; 5(2):e2147891.  View on PubMed
  13. Balfour DJK, Benowitz NL, Colby SM, Hatsukami DK, Lando HA, Leischow SJ, Lerman C, Mermelstein RJ, Niaura R, Perkins KA, Pomerleau OF, Rigotti NA, Swan GE, Warner KE, West R. Balfour et al. Respond. Am J Public Health. 2022 01; 112(1):e2-e3.  View on PubMed
  14. Balfour DJK, Benowitz NL, Colby SM, Hatsukami DK, Lando HA, Leischow SJ, Lerman C, Mermelstein RJ, Niaura R, Perkins KA, Pomerleau OF, Rigotti NA, Swan GE, Warner KE, West R. Balfour et al. Respond. Am J Public Health. 2022 01; 112(1):e5-e6.  View on PubMed
  15. Palmer AM, Toll BA, Carpenter MJ, Donny EC, Hatsukami DK, Rojewski AM, Smith TT, Sofuoglu M, Thrul J, Benowitz NL. Reappraising Choice in Addiction: Novel Conceptualizations and Treatments for Tobacco Use Disorder. Nicotine Tob Res. 2022 01 01; 24(1):3-9.  View on PubMed
  16. Cwalina SN, McConnell R, Benowitz NL, Barrington-Trimis JL. Tobacco-free Nicotine - New Name, Same Scheme? N Engl J Med. 2021 Dec 23; 385(26):2406-2408.  View on PubMed
  17. Chenoweth MJ, Peng AR, Zhu AZX, Cox LS, Nollen NL, Ahluwalia JS, Benowitz NL, Knight J, Swardfager W, Tyndale RF. Does sex alter the relationship between CYP2B6 variation, hydroxybupropion concentration and bupropion-aided smoking cessation in African Americans? A moderated mediation analysis. Addiction. 2022 Jun; 117(6):1715-1724.  View on PubMed
  18. Aquilina NJ, Jacob P, Benowitz NL, Fsadni P, Montefort S. Secondhand smoke exposure in school children in Malta assessed through urinary biomarkers. Environ Res. 2022 03; 204(Pt D):112405.  View on PubMed
  19. Aquilina NJ, Havel CM, Harrison RM, Ho KF, Benowitz NL, Jacob Iii P. Determination of 4-(Methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-Pyridyl)-1-Butanone (NNK) arising from tobacco smoke in airborne particulate matter. Environ Int. 2022 01; 158:106992.  View on PubMed
  20. Benowitz NL, Liakoni E. Tobacco use disorder and cardiovascular health. Addiction. 2022 04; 117(4):1128-1138.  View on PubMed

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