University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Neal L. Benowitz, MD

Neal L. Benowitz, MD

Professor, Departments of Medicine, Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Psychiatry, and Clinical Pharmacy, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Tobacco Control

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.


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. Knox M, Skan J, Benowitz NL, Schnellbaecher M, Prochaska JJ. Recruitment best practices of a cardiovascular risk reduction randomised control trial in rural Alaska Native communities. Int J Circumpolar Health. 2020 Dec; 79(1):1806639.
    View on PubMed
  2. Chaffee BW, Jacob P, Couch ET, Benowitz NL. Exposure to a Tobacco-Specific Carcinogen Among Adolescent Smokeless Tobacco Users in Rural California, United States. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Oct 08; 22(10):1764-1771.
    View on PubMed
  3. Piper ME, Baker TB, Mermelstein R, Benowitz N, Jorenby DE. Relations among cigarette dependence, e-cigarette dependence, and key dependence criteria among dual users of combustible and e-cigarettes. Psychol Addict Behav. 2020 Sep 21.
    View on PubMed
  4. Nardone N, Giberson J, Prochaska JJ, Jain S, Benowitz NL. A Mobile Health Intervention for Adolescents Exposed to Secondhand Smoke: Pilot Feasibility and Efficacy Study. JMIR Form Res. 2020 Aug 19; 4(8):e18583.
    View on PubMed
  5. Nardone N, Jain S, Benowitz NL. Biomarkers of Exposure to Nicotine and Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines in Adolescent Blunt Users. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Jul 16; 22(8):1428-1429.
    View on PubMed
  6. Liakoni E, Nardone N, St Helen G, Dempsey DA, Tyndale RF, Benowitz NL. Effects of Nicotine Metabolic Rate on Cigarette Reinforcement. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Jul 16; 22(8):1419-1423.
    View on PubMed
  7. Carroll DM, Cigan S, Ikuemonisan J, Hammonds T, Stepanov I, St Helen G, Benowitz N, Hatsukami DK. Relationships between race, gender, and spot urine levels of biomarkers of tobacco exposure vary based on how creatinine is handled in analyses. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Jun 29.
    View on PubMed
  8. Moazed F, Hendrickson C, Conroy A, Kornblith LZ, Benowitz NL, Delucchi K, Cohen MJ, Calfee CS. Cigarette Smoking and ARDS After Blunt Trauma: The Influence of Changing Smoking Patterns and Resuscitation Practices. Chest. 2020 Jun 20.
    View on PubMed
  9. Epperson AE, Crouch M, Skan J, Benowitz NL, Schnellbaecher M, Prochaska JJ. Cultural and demographic correlates of dual tobacco use in a sample of Alaska Native adults who smoke cigarettes. Tob Induc Dis. 2020; 18:55.
    View on PubMed
  10. Benowitz NL, Bernert JT, Foulds J, Hecht SS, Jacob P, Jarvis MJ, Joseph A, Oncken C, Piper ME. Biochemical Verification of Tobacco Use and Abstinence: 2019 Update. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Jun 12; 22(7):1086-1097.
    View on PubMed
  11. Jacob P, St Helen G, Yu L, Nardone N, Havel C, Cheung P, Benowitz NL. Biomarkers of Exposure for Dual Use of Electronic Cigarettes and Combustible Cigarettes: Nicotelline, NNAL, and Total Nicotine Equivalents. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Jun 12; 22(7):1107-1113.
    View on PubMed
  12. Harvanko AM, Havel CM, Jacob P, Benowitz NL. Characterization of Nicotine Salts in 23 Electronic Cigarette Refill Liquids. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Jun 12; 22(7):1239-1243.
    View on PubMed
  13. Carroll DM, Strayer L, Nardone N, Pacek LR, Kozink RV, Tessier K, McClernon J, Benowitz N, Bickel WK, Hatsukami D. Development and Piloting Testing of an Experimental Tobacco and Nicotine Product Marketplace. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Jun 12; 22(7):1230-1234.
    View on PubMed
  14. Piper ME, Baker TB, Benowitz NL, Jorenby DE. Changes in Use Patterns Over 1 Year Among Smokers and Dual Users of Combustible and Electronic Cigarettes. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 04 21; 22(5):672-680.
    View on PubMed
  15. Piper ME, Baker TB, Benowitz NL, Smith SS, Jorenby DE. E-cigarette Dependence Measures in Dual Users: Reliability and Relations With Dependence Criteria and E-cigarette Cessation. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 04 21; 22(5):756-763.
    View on PubMed
  16. Schnoll R, Paul Wileyto E, Gross R, Hitsman B, Hawk LW, Cinciripini P, George TP, Benowitz NL, Fen Lubitz S, Ashare R, Tyndale RF, Lerman C. Evaluation of nicotine patch adherence measurement using self-report and saliva cotinine among abstainers in a smoking cessation trial. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 May 01; 210:107967.
    View on PubMed
  17. Rezk-Hanna M, Nelson MD, Rader F, Benowitz NL, Rosenberry R, Chang LC, Li N, Tashkin DP, Elashoff RM, Victor RG. Peripheral Blood Flow Changes to Cutaneous and Muscular Beds in Response to Acute Hookah Smoking. Am J Cardiol. 2020 06 01; 125(11):1725-1731.
    View on PubMed
  18. Park EY, Park E, Jeong BY, Park J, Lee DH, Benowitz NL, Lim MK. Comparison of smoking cessation rates of Quitline users in Korea between smokers of ultra-low nicotine yield cigarettes and other types of cigarette: a prospective study. Addiction. 2020 Sep; 115(9):1745-1753.
    View on PubMed
  19. Kovar L, Selzer D, Britz H, Benowitz N, St Helen G, Kohl Y, Bals R, Lehr T. Comprehensive Parent-Metabolite PBPK/PD Modeling Insights into Nicotine Replacement Therapy Strategies. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2020 Mar 12.
    View on PubMed
  20. Smith TT, Koopmeiners JS, Hatsukami DK, Tessier KM, Benowitz NL, Murphy SE, Strasser AA, Tidey JW, Blount BC, Valentin L, Bravo Cardenas R, Watson C, Pirkle JL, Donny EC. Mouth-Level Nicotine Intake Estimates from Discarded Filter Butts to Examine Compensatory Smoking in Low Nicotine Cigarettes. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 03; 29(3):643-649.
    View on PubMed

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