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 May 07.  View on PubMed
  2. 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 Apr 15; 205(8):927-935.  View on PubMed
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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 Jan 11.  View on PubMed
  8. 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 Jan 06.  View on PubMed
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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. 2021 Nov 17.  View on PubMed
  16. Benowitz NL, Liakoni E. Tobacco use disorder and cardiovascular health. Addiction. 2022 04; 117(4):1128-1138.  View on PubMed
  17. Chenoweth MJ, Cox LS, Nollen NL, Ahluwalia JS, Benowitz NL, Lerman C, Knight J, Tyndale RF. Analyses of nicotine metabolism biomarker genetics stratified by sex in African and European Americans. Sci Rep. 2021 10 01; 11(1):19572.  View on PubMed
  18. El-Boraie A, Tanner JA, Zhu AZX, Claw KG, Prasad B, Schuetz EG, Thummel KE, Fukunaga K, Mushiroda T, Kubo M, Benowitz NL, Lerman C, Tyndale RF. Functional characterization of novel rare CYP2A6 variants and potential implications for clinical outcomes. Clin Transl Sci. 2022 01; 15(1):204-220.  View on PubMed
  19. Nides M, Rigotti NA, Benowitz N, Clarke A, Jacobs C. A Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Phase 2b Trial of Cytisinicline in Adult Smokers (The ORCA-1 Trial). Nicotine Tob Res. 2021 08 29; 23(10):1656-1663.  View on PubMed
  20. 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. Balancing Consideration of the Risks and Benefits of E-Cigarettes. Am J Public Health. 2021 09; 111(9):1661-1672.  View on PubMed

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